|photo by Jim Gordon|
Regional ministers and diplomatic officials from Iraq and Kurdistan, along with members of the business community, gathered on Tuesday to inaugurate Lufthansa's first flights to Erbil International Airport, in the capital of the Kurdistan region. Kurdisation includes parts of eastern Turkey, northern Iraq, northwestern Iran and northern Syria, and encompasses the northwestern Zagros and the eastern Taurus mountain ranges.
Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Interior Minister Karim Sinjari and Iraq's Deputy Prime Minister Dr. Roj Shawis and Erbil's diplomatic community participated in the ceremony.
In his speech Sinjari said, "By coming here, Lufthansa has made the determination that Iraqi Kurdistan is a safe and secure place to work."
Peter Andres, Lufthansa's vice president for corporate security, commented on Erbil's hospitality and beauty and thanked Austrian Airlines (the first regular scheduled carrier to the Kurdistan Region) for paving the way for other airlines. Andres added that Lufthansa plans to resume flights to Baghdad this summer after a stoppage of many years.
Lufthansa now operates four flights a week between Frankfurt and Erbil.