Flynas to be first Saudi airline to fly to Iraq in 27 years

Flynas said in a statement on its website it would start flights to several Iraqi cities in a few weeks. (Reuters)
Updated 12 October 2017
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Flynas to be first Saudi airline to fly to Iraq in 27 years

CAIRO — Saudi Arabian budget airline Flynas said on Wednesday it would start flying to Iraq, the first Saudi airline to go offer that route in more than 25 years.
The airline said in a statement on its website it would start flights to several Iraqi cities in a few weeks.
There have been no flights between Saudi Arabia and Iraq since former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein invaded neighboring Kuwait in 1990.
Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are both wooing their northern neighbor in an effort to halt the growing regional influence of arch-foe Iran.
Flynas, which launched as Nas Air in 2007 and first turned a profit in 2015, is facing increasing competition in Saudi Arabia, its primary market.
In August the two countries said they planned to open the Arar land border crossing for trade for the first time since 1990.
That announcement had followed a decision by the Saudi cabinet on Monday to establish a joint trade commission with Iraq.


Siemens CEO pushes plans to boost Iraqi power infrastructure

Updated 9 min 33 sec ago
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Siemens CEO pushes plans to boost Iraqi power infrastructure

FRANKFURT: Siemens said its boss Joe Kaeser met Iraq’s prime minister on Sunday to discuss a proposal by the German company to expand the Middle East nation’s power production.
The German engineering group said it was proposing a deal to add 11 gigawatt (GW) of capacity over four years, saying this would boost the country’s capacity by nearly 50 percent.
It did not give a value, but such a contract would be worth several billion euros based on previous comparable deals.
Iraq has a wide gap between electricity consumption and supply. Peak demand in the summer, when people turn on air conditioners due to high temperatures, is about 21 GW, far exceeding the 13 GW the grid is currently provides, experts say.
Kaeser said in a statement after meeting Prime Minister Al-Abadi that they had “discussed the comprehensive Siemens roadmap to build a better future for the Iraqi people.”
“In Egypt, we have done the same and successfully built up the power infrastructure in record time with the highest efficiency,” he said.
In 2015, Siemens signed an 8 billion euro ($9.4 billion) deal with Egypt to supply gas and wind power plants to add 16.4 gigawatts of capacity to the country’s power grid, marking the group’s single biggest order.
The proposal for Iraq, first pitched in February, would include cutting Iraq’s energy losses, introducing smart grids, expanding transmission grids, upgrading existing plants and adding new capacity.
The group would also help the government secure funding from international commercial banks and export credit agencies with German government support, creating thousands of jobs in Iraq.
Siemens would donate a $60 million grant for software for Iraqi universities, it said.