The Ministry of Transportation signed a joint operational contract with the Ross Aviation company. The contract is considered to be the first of its kind and an advanced step in the history of Iraqi Airways.
The contract was signed in Baghdad. The event was attended by the Minister of Transportation, Engineer Amer Abdul Jabar Ismael, his Deputy Minister, Benkin Rikani, and a number of officials from the company, the Ministry of Transportation, and the Iraqi Airways Company.
A report from the Ministry of Transportation, of which Mawtani obtained a copy, stated that, according to the contract, which will last for four years, Ross Aviation will commit to providing air cargo equipment and will transfer its ownership to Iraqi Airways.
Ross Aviation will also commit to bringing a minimum of 20 aircraft for joint operations and will transfer the ownership of two cargo aircraft to the Iraqi Airways Company upon the completion of the contract.
In addition, Ross Aviation will provide and install aviation devices to facilitate the landing of aircraft during inclement weather and times of low visibility. This will allow Baghdad International Airport to remain open to air traffic during inclement weather leading to a lack of visibility.
According to the contract, Ross Aviation will train pilots from among the Iraqi Airways staff. The contract also stipulates that Iraqi Airways pilots will pilot these aircraft and carry out air cargo flights. Ross Aviation will pay their salaries according to international standards, while their salaries from Iraqi Airways will be suspended. As a result, the contract will create high salary professional opportunities for Iraqi Airways staff. At the same time, the contract will reduce financial burdens on the government’s budget.
Iraqi Airways will receive 12 percent of the total revenue for the first two years of the contract and 15 percent of revenues in the third and fourth years.
The signing of this contract took place within the framework of the ministry’s plan to promote the participation of private sector and international companies, in order to achieve rapid progress and substantial development in a short period of time, without placing a financial burden on the government’s budget. The plan also aims to create new work opportunities.
It is noteworthy that the Ministry of Transportation has moved in the direction of working according to the principle of joint operations in all aspects of air, land, and marine transportation. The ministry indicated that a joint operational contract is soon to be signed for passenger aircraft within a month. The contract stipulates the provision of 20 aircraft to Iraqi Airways. This will guarantee high revenues without imposing any financial obligations upon Iraqi Airways.
These contracts will open wide horizons for Iraqi flight, in order to connect with the world and provide exceptional service to citizens.
Iraqi Airways is the largest airline company in Iraq and is a member of the Arab Union for Air Transportation. The company was established in 1945, and in the beginning, it used British- and Russian-made aircraft. In the 1970s, the United States allowed Iraqi Airways’ aircraft to use the John F. Kennedy International Airport runways in New York.
The first Gulf War did not impact Iraqi Airways flights. Nonetheless, flights completely stopped after the invasion of Kuwait by the former regime. This was due to the imposition of international sanctions against Iraq by the United Nations.
Prior to the fall of the former regime in 2003, Iraq had owned 17 passenger aircraft. Most of these aircraft were transported to secret locations or neighboring countries, such as Jordan, Tunisia, and Iran.
After 2003, Iraqi Airways decided to resume its international flights. The first flight took place on October 3, 2004, from Baghdad to the Jordanian capital of Amman.
Since August 2005, Iraqi Airways has been conducting flights to various countries around the world. At present, Iraqi Airways owns numerous aircraft. In addition, Iraqi Airways recently contracted with the Boeing Company to purchase 55 modern aircraft. The aircraft will be delivered incrementally over the next few years. At present, Iraqi Airways rents a number of aircraft to run its current flights.