A quick Google search might give the impression that plane travel in Iraq is prohibitively dangerous – the first page of answers to the search ‘Iraq plane travel’ contains 5 stories of crashes and other incidents.
However recently the situation has improved, according to Mohammed Abbas, writing for Alarab Online. And foreign airlines are re-opening routes to Iraq – last month Turkish Airlines started direct flights between Baghdad and Istanbul.
Picture: Flights to Baghdad from Turkish Airlines
According to Abbas, flying out of Iraq has some quirks that you don’t find in other countries. Use of electronic booking systems is not widespread so reservations are recorded on paper, and a lack of announcements inside the airport means confusion when trying to get on the right flight. Once inside the flight, ticket seating is forgotten as families try to sit together.
Air transport is not the only area seeing improvement – a few weeks ago 15 miles of Baghdad commuter rail track was reopened, giving Baghdadis the option of taking the train instead of driving to work. This option seems to face many of the criticisms of train networks in other countries though: trains are too infrequent and commuters have to travel too far to get to the station.
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