Boeing and Iraqi Airways today celebrated the delivery of the airline’s first Boeing 787 Dreamliner with a special event in Baghdad to welcome the flag-carrier’s super-efficient widebody jet.
The Iraqi flag carrier has taken the first of 10 787s on order, to profitably grow its long-haul network and connect Iraq to more international destinations.
The delivery of Iraqi Airways’ first 787 follows delivery of four Boeing 737 MAX airplanes since February. The airline has ordered a total of six 737-8s and 10 737-10s, providing its single-aisle fleet with more capability across its regional and medium-haul routes.
“We are proud to be taking delivery of an airplane with the capabilities of the 787 Dreamliner. As domestic and international air traffic gains momentum, it’s crucial that our Iraqi Airways fleet matches growing demand with more efficient, capable and comfortable airplanes,” said Manaf Abdel-Monem, Director General of Iraqi Airways. “The 787 and 737 MAX airplanes we have received are key to our fleet renewal program which aims to ensure we can fly our passengers around the world in the safety and comfort they expect from a modern and efficient airline like Iraqi Airways.”
Iraqi Airways currently serves more than 50 destinations from Baghdad and is expanding and renewing its fleet to support the anticipated increase in international business and leisure travel to and from the country. Iraq is seeing increased stability and economic growth, with the country’s annual gross domestic product growth rate expected to reach 7% by the end of 2023. With global air traffic rebounding, Middle Eastern airlines are seeing more than a 40% traffic increase compared to last year.
“Today marks a new beginning for Iraqi Airways, taking delivery of its first 787 Dreamliner that will support the airline in connecting Iraq to the world,” said Omar Arekat, Boeing vice president of Commercial Sales and Marketing for the Middle East. “Boeing is committed to supporting Iraqi Airways’ ambition to bring greater optimization and new route possibilities to the region.”
“Air transport is at the heart of economic growth. It creates employment, facilitates trade, enables tourism and supports sustainable development. The arrival of the Boeing 787 today is an important step in connecting the Iraqi people to the region and the world,” said Kuljit Ghata-Aura, President Middle East, Türkiye and Africa, Boeing. “We look forward to supporting the Iraqi government and the Iraqi private sector as they grow Iraq’s commercial fleet and modernize the country’s commercial aviation infrastructure.”
The 787-8 Dreamliner can fly 248 passengers up to 7,305 nautical miles (13,530 km) in a typical two-class configuration. Using 25% less fuel and creating 25% fewer emissions than the airplanes it replaces, the 787 family has reduced more than 141 billion pounds of carbon emissions since entering service in 2011.
Boeing designed the 787 family with superior efficiency, which allows airlines to profitably open new routes to fly people directly where they’d like to go in exceptional comfort. Since 2011, the 787 family has launched more than 350 new non-stop routes around the world, including more than 50 new routes since 2020.
Passengers enjoy many improvements with the 787 family such as the largest windows of any jet; air that is more humid and pressurized at a lower cabin altitude for greater comfort; large overhead bins with room for everyone’s bag; soothing LED lighting; and technology that senses and counters turbulence for a smoother ride.
In addition to the 737-8 and 787-8, Iraqi Airways operates a fleet of more than 40 Boeing airplanes, including 737-800s, 747s and 777s, serving more than 50 destinations from Baghdad.