- Iraqi Airways has received its fifth Airbus A220, completing its order for five A220-300s and progressing its fleet modernization plans.
- The airline's initial letter of intent for up to 16 Airbus A220s in 2013 has now materialized into five firm orders.
- Iraqi Airways aims to have a total of 31 modern Airbus and Boeing aircraft in its fleet by 2027 and recently welcomed its first Boeing 787, with more deliveries expected in the future.
Iraqi Airways has taken delivery of its fifth Airbus A220, registered as YI-ARH. With this latest arrival, the Iraqi flag carrier's order for five A220-300s has been fulfilled, and its ambitious fleet modernization plans are underway.
Iraqi Airways signed a letter of intent for up to 16 Airbus A220s in 2013 when the aircraft was known as the Bombardier CSeries. At the time, the airline's Chief Executive Officer and Director General, Saad Al-Khafaji, highlighted the advantages that the aircraft would bring, saying,
“The CS300 aircraft’s range, fuel efficiency, and comfortable, widebody-like cabin will permit us to respond to growing passenger demand and reach destinations across the Middle East, Northern Africa, and Europe."
Ferry flight from Canada to Iraq, via Norway
Iraqi Airways' latest A220-300 touched down at Baghdad International Airport (BGW) in the afternoon of August 27th. The aircraft's ferry flight took it from Montreal-Mirabel International Airport (YXM) via Oslo Airport (OSL), with the routing visible on the flight tracking website, FlightRadar24.com:
Photos of the aircraft's arrival can be seen in this X post:
The original letter of intent turned into firm orders for five A220s. Iraqi Airways is the only Middle Eastern carrier to have ordered the aircraft, with the first A220 joining the airline's fleet in November 2021. The airline only recently returned its four existing A220s to service after they were temporarily grounded due to issues with their Pratt & Whitney PW1500G engines, which also impacted many other A220 operators.
Ongoing fleet modernization
The A220 is integral to Iraqi Airways' ongoing fleet modernization plans, but the airline also has six Boeing 737 MAX 8s, with an average age of one year, according to data from ch-aviation.com. This is in addition to an older fleet of 14 737-800s over eight years old, on average.
Iraqi Airways recently revealed its ambition to have 31 modern Airbus and Boeing aircraft in its fleet by 2027. The airline received its first of nine Boeing 787s in June 2023 and hopes to take delivery of its second in September. Once all the Dreamliner deliveries are complete, Iraqi Airways will have eight 787-8s and one 787-9 in its fleet.
They will join the airline's sole Boeing 777-200LR in operating the carrier's limited long-haul network. Currently, the furthest destination that Iraqi Airways operates to is Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KUL), Malaysia.
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Have you flown on one of Iraqi Airways' Airbus A220s? Which route did you travel on? Share your experiences by commenting below.