Iraqi Airways to use Blue Wings A320s to serve Europe

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Iraqi Airways is intending to use aircraft from German carrier Blue Wings to re-open services between Baghdad and Europe, including flights to London.

The Iraqi transport ministry says it has signed a lease agreement for three Airbus A320s from the Dusseldorf-based carrier.

Iraqi Airways says the aircraft will be configured with 165 seats and operate to countries in Europe, and points to the opening of a Baghdad-London route.

It states that the A320s will have the capability of operating "long distances".

Blue Wings, which has been rebuilding its operations since being grounded by German authorities earlier this year, could not be reached to confirm the agreement.

Iraqi Airways says it will receive the first aircraft shortly. It is still pointing to an early August date to open the London route, with preliminary indications that it would serve Gatwick.

Gatwick Airport operator BAA has been unable to confirm the Iraqi plan, while a spokesman for London Stansted adds that there has been no discussion over Iraqi services for more than a year.