Gulf Air in Iraqi flight ban shock - but airline to continue flights
Just hours after Gulf Air resumed flights to Iraq, a provincial council in the country is said to have voted to ban flights by the Bahrain's carrier claiming solidarity with those facing "repression" in the kingdom.
According to newspaper reports, the decision was made by Najaf provincial council. "The committee formed to oversee the airport decided to ban the Bahraini company Gulf Air from conducting flights to Najaf in solidarity with the Bahraini people who are subjected to repression by authorities there," Najaf provincial council said in a statement.
However Gulf Air said today that they were unaware of any such ban. A spokesperson said: Gulf Air's flights are operating into Iraq as scheduled, in-line with the official approval granted by the Iraqi Civil Aviation Authority in Baghdad. We have not received any official communication from the authorities in Iraq stating otherwise."
A Gulf Air flight carrying about 40 passengers landed in Najaf on Thursday on the first of flights to resume operations to Iraq after more than a year's suspension of services.