Iraqi Airways has taken delivery of its first Boeing 787 Dreamliner. The widebody is the first of ten on order and is set to help the flag-carrier grow its long-haul network.
The hand over follows the arrival of four Boeing 737 MAXs since February. The airline has ordered a total of six 737-8s and ten 737-10s to provide its single-aisle fleet with more capability across its regional and medium-haul routes.
Manaf Abdel-Monem, director general of Iraqi Airways, said: “We are proud to be taking delivery of an airplane with the capabilities of the 787 Dreamliner. As domestic and international air traffic gains momentum, it’s crucial that our Iraqi Airways fleet matches growing demand with more efficient, capable and comfortable airplanes.”
Iraqi Airways currently serves more than 50 destinations from Baghdad and is expanding and renewing its fleet to support the anticipated increase in international business and leisure travel to and from the country. Iraq is seeing increased stability and economic growth, with the country’s annual gross domestic product growth rate expected to reach 7% by the end of 2023.
Omar Arekat, Boeing vice president of commercial sales and marketing for the Middle East, said: “Today marks a new beginning for Iraqi Airways, taking delivery of its first 787 Dreamliner that will support the airline in connecting Iraq to the world.”
The 787-8 Dreamliner can fly 248 passengers up to 7,305 nautical miles (13,530 km) in a typical two-class configuration. Boeing says it uses 25% less fuel and creates 25% fewer emissions than the aircraft it replaces.
Iraqi Airways holds a wide-ranging 40-strong fleet comprising four Airbus A220-300s (all of which have been grounded), three A320-200s, two A321-200s, one A330-200, one 737-700, 14 737-800s, four 737-8s, two 747-400s, one 767-300, one 777-200, and six Bombardier CRJ-900s.