Baghdad-mandated flight ban costs Kurdish airport USD $60,000 daily

An international flight ban imposed  by the Iraqi government in Baghdad on Kurdish airports has caused one of them to sustain tens of thousands of dollars in losses per day, its director said.

Almaalomah website quoted Taher Abdallah, director of al-Sulaymaniyah Airport, saying that the ban mandated by the Iraqi government has caused daily losses worth USD60.000.

“What is being drawn from domestic flights does not correspond with workers wages,” Abdallah told the website.

“Sulaymaniyah Airport’s annual revenues used to stand at USD10 million,” the director said. “50% of the airport’s revenues were redirected to Kurdistan’s finance ministry, while the remainder was spent continuously on airport upgrading”.

Baghdad had ordered a freeze on international flights to and from Kurdish airports in Erbil and Sulaymaniyah after the autonomous region proceeded with a referendum on independence from Iraq on September 25th, a measure rejected by the Arab-led Iraqi government, the United Nations, the United States, Iran and Turkey.

Other penal measures included a halt of financial dealings and the closure of border crossings.

Baghdad had demanded Erbil to hand over management of airports and border crossings, as well as  security responsibilities at areas where both governments contend sovereignty.

Source: Iraqi News

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