As of today, Austrian Airlines starts flights to Erbil in Northern Iraq. They reckon it'ss be a poplar tourist destination within some years as it is stable and safe:
Erbil, Northern Iraq
Austrian becomes first European airline to fly to Iraq from 11 December 2006
Erbil in Iraq, is situated next to the Turkish and Iranian border. It is characterized by its unique location atop a 30-metre high plateau formed from the ruins of the city over thousands of years of history. Erbil is one of the oldest continuously inhabited centers of population in the world today.
Today, with a population approaching one million people, Erbil is the fourth-largest city in Iraq, and the fastest-growing in the country.
The schedule Vienna-Erbil-Vienna in detail:
Flight days Departure Arrival
Monday, Friday OS829 dep. Vienna 10:20 h arr. Erbil 16:05 h
Monday, Friday OS830 dep. Erbil 17:00 h arr. Vienna 19:05 h
One foreigner who thinks the scenery could be a big draw for tourists is Peter Katzlberger of Austrian Airlines. "In a couple of years I can imagine big tourist potential here," he says. "This is a beautiful country. You can compare the mountains to ones in Europe and there are lots of opportunities for skiing in winter."
Austrian Airlines is the first international carrier to start flying scheduled services into Irbil, with two flights a week from Vienna commencing on 11 December. "There's big business development in the region, I think the same will happen for tourism."
The Kurdish authorities are betting on more international airlines to follow suit. Next to the small airport in Irbil they are constructing a massive new terminal and runway - one rumoured to be long enough for even a space shuttle to land on.