ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) - Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim on Friday announced the flight ban on Erbil would no longer affect Turkish flights, stating the decision was "effective immediately."
Flights between Erbil and Turkish airports will resume after more than five months, ever since an international flight ban was imposed by the Iraqi Federal Government on Sep. 29 in retaliation to the Kurdistan Region's referendum on independence.
Yildirim stated that no decision had yet been made to resume flights between Sulaimani anddue to security reasons.
"However, this is only effective for Erbil. There will be no flights to Sulaymaniyah [Sulaimani]. Because, unfortunately the terror group's activities against our country [Turkey] continue intensely."
The Iraqi government lifted the flight embargo on the Erbil and Sulaimani airports on March 13.
Speaking to media in the capital of Ankara, Yildirim said: “We had closed down our airspace following northern Iraq's referendum. We are opening our airspace as of today.”
Yildirim added that commercial flights would be available from either Turkey or Europe to Erbil.
While some airlines have already announced the resumption of their regular flights to the two Kurdish airports, others have yet to declare their operations will restart.
Editing by Nadia Riva