Number of airline passengers down 86 percent in Sulaymaniyah

The number of airline passengers is down more than 86 percent in Sulaymaniyah after Iraq banned international flights to Southern Kurdistan.

Taher Abdullah, the director of Sulaymaniyah airport, said that the number of passengers using the airport is down to 6000 from 50,000 per month.

According to Abdullah, the airport maintained its rate of operations, with only one contracted company revoking its engagement with the airport despite the embargo.

Iraqi central government had imposed an embargo on flights on Kurdistan’s Sulaymaniyah and Arbil airports following the independence referendum.

Iraq’s aviation authority recently extended the ban on international flights to Southern Kurdistan until March.