Iraqi Airways Welcomes Its First Boeing 787 Dreamliner

Yesterday, Iraqi Airways marked the arrival of its inaugural Boeing 787 aircraft at Baghdad International Airport (BGW). The 787-8, bearing the registration YI-ATC, had undertaken a 13-hour delivery flight from Charleston, SC (CHS). Having taken its first test flight just a month ago, this aircraft is set to serve in a two-class configuration, accommodating up to 24 passengers in business class and 242 in economy class.

Photo by: FlightRadar24.com

The flag carrier of Iraq, Iraqi Airways, has an additional nine Boeing 787s on order – eight 787-8s and one 787-9. The airline currently operates flights to over 50 destinations throughout Europe, the Middle East, and Asia from its hub in Baghdad. The Boeing 787, known for its operational and economic efficiency, is anticipated to assist the airline in broadening its long-haul route network and reinforcing its global presence.

Manaf Abdel-Monem, the Director General of Iraqi Airways, lauded the news, stating, “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. The 787 and 737 MAX airplanes we have received are key to our fleet renewal program which aims to ensure we can fly our passengers around the world in the safety and comfort they expect from a modern and efficient airline like Iraqi Airways.”

Propelling Economic Growth

Analysts predict a 7% GDP growth rate in Iraq by year-end. By expanding and modernizing its fleet, Iraqi Airways is preparing to tap into the inevitable rise in air travel that such economic growth will bring. Kuljit S. Ghata-Aura, Boeing’s President for the Middle East, Türkiye, and Africa, also commented on the positive impact that the expansion of Iraqi Airways could have on the country, noting, “Air transport is at the heart of economic growth. It creates employment, facilitates trade, enables tourism, and supports sustainable development. The arrival of the Boeing 787 is an important step in connecting the Iraqi people to the region and the world.”

Iraqi Airways: A Diverse and Expanding Fleet

Photo by: Air Data News

According to data from ch-aviation.com, Iraqi Airways’ fleet, averaging 11 years in age, currently consists of a variety of aircraft, including:

  • 4 x Airbus A220-300
  • 3 x Airbus A320
  • 2 x Airbus A321
  • 1 x Airbus A330-200
  • 1 x Boeing 737-700
  • 4 x Boeing 737 MAX 8
  • 14 x Boeing 737-800
  • 2 x Boeing 747-400
  • 1 x Boeing 777-200LR
  • 1 x Boeing 787-8
  • 6 x Bombardier CRJ900LR

The airline, which took delivery of its first 737 MAX 8 in March 2023, is in the midst of modernizing its fleet. Along with the nine Boeing 787s yet to be delivered, Iraqi Airways is also scheduled to receive several additional narrowbody aircraft, including one Airbus A220-300, two 737 MAX 8s, and ten 737 MAX 10s.


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