Northwest Seeks OK for Flights to Iraq
By KARREN MILLS
.c The Associated Press
EAGAN, Minn. (AP) - Northwest Airlines has asked the U.S. Department of Transportation for permission to begin flying from Detroit to Iraq, with a stop in Amsterdam.
Northwest spokesman Bill Mellon said Thursday that, if approved, the frequency of the flights would depend on demand. Northwest would serve the route with DC-10 aircraft, he said.
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Northwest's alliance partner, also has applied for permission to fly into Baghdad, Mellon said. If both carriers are granted permission, he said Northwest and KLM would discuss how to best serve the market.
Northwest anticipates there will be public interest in flights to Baghdad now that the fighting has, for the most part, ended, he said.
U.S. carriers are prohibited from providing commercial air service to Iraq. Northwest said it was filing its application now in anticipation that restrictions will be lifted ``once the country is sufficiently stabilized.''
Baghdad is one of the few major cities in the Middle East that Northwest and KLM do not jointly serve, ``So for our market development, it seemed like a logical request to add Baghdad to the Northwest-KLM route system,'' Mellon said.
Mellon said he could not predict when the DOT might decide on the request. ``They'll wait to see if another (major) U.S. airline also applies and then make the decision based on the applications they receive,'' he said.
World Airways Inc. and North American Airlines Inc. also have filed applications seeking authority to provide service to Iraq.
On the Net:
Northwest Airlines: http://www.nwa.com
05/08/03 11:48 EDT
Copyright 2003 The Associated Press.