First Paris-Baghdad Flight in 20 Years Set to Launch

Just as the troops are flying home, a French airline says it will bring back commercial service between Paris and Baghdad.

Aigle Azur will launch the first direct commercial flights on the route in 20 years, a spokeswoman for the carrier tells AFP.

An inaugural flight on Oct. 30 will carry business leaders, and a few weeks later the carrier plans to begin offering a schedule of two flights a week between Paris Charles de Gaulle airport and the Iraqi capital.

"We are still waiting for a few points to be finalized," the spokeswoman says.

Still being negotiated is a codeshare with Air France that would allow the French flag-carrier to also sell the flights to its passengers arriving in Paris. Air France suspended service to Baghdad in 1990.

Aigle Azur's other routes include France, Portugal, Italy and North Africa.

Flights to Baghdad were suspended at the start of the Gulf War. In April, Iraqi Airways launched direct flights between Baghdad and London, the first such flights in 20 years.

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