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    Ankara denies permission for Erbil flights to use Turkish airspace

    Hürriyet Haber
    15.10.2007 - 13:56 | Son Güncelleme: 15.10.2007 - 13:56

    Turkey has denied permission for use of its airspace to a number of charter flights leaving from different points in Europe headed for Erbil in northern Iraq. The decision to block flights headed for Erbil from using Turkish airspace is part of a series of new implementations from Ankara following an increase in PKK violence, with Turkish authorities adopting a tougher stance against the Kurdish run northern section of Iraq.

    The denial of permission for the mostly chartered flights to Erbil to fly over Turkey has meant that these same flights are now flying over either Southern Cyprus or Syria to reach their destination, although this change has also meant an increase in flight prices for passengers, which has in turn meant a serious drop in passenger numbers.
    The most recent example of Turkey's new stance on the use of its airspace came with the denial of permission to a German chartered airline flying to Erbil out of Frankfurt and Munich. The airline, owned by Hamburg International, was flying under the name of "Zagros Kurd Air" and "Kurdistan Airlines." The chartered flights were denied permission from Ankara to fly over Turkish airspace, and wound up switching their flight path to take the airplace over Southern Cyprus. In addition, Austrian Airlines has also completely cancelled its scheduled Vienna-Erbil flights, with authorities saying it is for security reasons, though sources speculate that the pricing had become exhorbitant following the change in flight path programming.
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