EIA only airport in Iraq to have direct European flights

The number of daily flights to and from EIA typically exceeds 60, rising to over 100 during peak travel periods after May each year.
Gate of Erbil International Airport (EIA). (Photo: Archive)
Gate of Erbil International Airport (EIA). (Photo: Archive)

ERBIL (Kurdistan24) – Erbil International Airport (EIA) experienced a substantial increase in passenger traffic in 2023, with 2.084 million passengers traveling through the airport, marking an increase of approximately 384,000 passengers compared to 2022.

The airport now operates around 100 flights daily and remains the only Iraqi airport with direct flights to Europe.

On June 6, 2024, Ahmed Hoshyar, Director of Erbil International Airport, announced, “Last year, 2.084 million tourists traveled through Erbil International Airport. Additionally, EIA scored 80 or higher in the ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) assessment, which evaluates airport quality worldwide.”

Hoshyar emphasized the airport’s success amid the security challenges in Iraq, stating, "Iraq is considered a red zone in terms of security, leading to many air restrictions. However, the success of Erbil International Airport has been significant for the Kurdistan Region and Iraq, elevating the standards of Iraqi aviation."

Erbil International Airport is distinguished as the only airport in Iraq with direct flights to European countries.

Earlier, Hoshyar mentioned that the new cargo terminal, under construction since 2021 on an area of 24,000 square meters, is 85% complete and expected to be operational by the end of this year or early next year.

The airport’s monthly cargo volume stands at 2,000 tons, and with the completion of the new cargo terminal, this volume is projected to double to 4,000 tons.

“Compared to other Iraqi airports, Erbil International Airport leads in all sectors,” Hoshyar said. “European airlines prefer flights from Erbil Airport due to our adherence to international standards and regulations.”

The number of daily flights to and from EIA typically exceeds 60, rising to over 100 during peak travel periods after May each year.

The airport currently has two baggage collection points, with a third set to be operational by the end of August, capable of handling 360 bags per hour and delivering baggage to passengers within 27 minutes.

Opened in 2005, Erbil International Airport is one of the busiest in the region, boasting a 4,800-meter runway, the eighth longest in the world.