Iraqi Airways’ Gorgeous New Airbus A220

Iraqi Airways’ Gorgeous New Airbus A220

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This has to be one of the cooler upcoming Airbus A220 deliveries…

Iraqi Airways has five A220s on order

Baghdad-based Iraqi Airways has five Airbus A220-300s on order, with deliveries expected to start in the coming months (before the end of 2021). Ahead of the delivery, some pictures have emerged of the first A220 in Iraqi Airways’ livery, and I’ve gotta say, it looks cool, and most definitely stands out.

Below are some pictures shared by the airline and Airbus (just to be clear, the engines won’t actually be blue, but that’s just tape that’s currently on them).

Iraqi Airways A220-300
Iraqi Airways A220-300
Iraqi Airways A220-300

Iraqi Airways placed the order for these aircraft all the way back in 2013, when the plane was still known as the Bombardier CSeries CS300. In 2018, Airbus took a majority stake in the project, at which point it was rebranded as the Airbus A220-300. So after the planes have been on order for nearly a decade, we’ll finally start to see some deliveries.

Iraqi Airways’ A220-300s are expected to be configured with 152 seats, including 12 business class seats and 140 economy class seats.

Iraqi Airways has a pretty cool fleet

Iraqi Airways has just over two dozen planes in its fleet, and it’s a surprisingly modern fleet, all things considered, with the average age of planes being under 10 years.

Iraqi Airways’ narrow body fleet isn’t terribly exciting, and includes:

  • Six CRJ-900s, in an all economy configuration
  • Three A320s, in an all economy configuration
  • Two A321s, in an all economy configuration
  • 13 Boeing 737-800s, featuring both business class and economy

It’s the wide body fleet that I find to be much more interesting. Iraqi Airways’ wide body fleet includes:

  • One Airbus A330-200, featuring both business class and economy
  • One Boeing 777-200LR, featuring both business class and economy
  • Two Boeing 747-400s, featuring both business class and economy; one used to fly for Japan Airlines, while the other used to fly for Malaysia Airlines

What’s interesting is that with the exception of the 747s, most of these planes were purchased new. That’s in contrast to neighbor Iran, which is known for having to buy very outdated planes, given the embargos in place from Airbus and Boeing.

Boy, as an avgeek I’d sure love to eventually fly Iraqi Airways and connect in Baghdad, flying an itinerary that includes both an A220 as well as either the 777 or one of the 747s. How cool would that be?!

Iraqi Airways 777-200LR

In theory Iraqi Airways also ordered 10 Boeing 787s over a decade ago, and while the order had been “finalized,” I haven’t heard much about that in recent years. So I’m not sure if that’s still happening, or what exactly is going on there.

Bottom line

Iraqi Airways will soon take delivery of its first of five Airbus A220s. The Baghdad-based carrier is no doubt one of the more “exotic” A220 operators, and I can’t wait to see this plane flying. Looking at Iraqi Airways’ fleet overall, the avgeek in me sure is tempted to plan a trip sometime down the road when international travel gets a bit easier.

Has anyone flown with Iraqi Airways, or find the airline to be as interesting as I do?

Conversations (16)
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  1. Hratch L Azadian

    I know lot of people cannot understand as to why it has taken Iraqi Airways to accept its orders which were put in 2008 with Boeing Airplane company and is now announcing that they will start accepting their Boeing orders by early 2022.
    In October they will start receiving Airbus 220-300s by December they expect to receive all 5 that are on the books.
    As of early 2022 (Perhaps by march) They will...

    I know lot of people cannot understand as to why it has taken Iraqi Airways to accept its orders which were put in 2008 with Boeing Airplane company and is now announcing that they will start accepting their Boeing orders by early 2022.
    In October they will start receiving Airbus 220-300s by December they expect to receive all 5 that are on the books.
    As of early 2022 (Perhaps by march) They will receive Boeing 737 Max8s and Boeing 787-8 wide bodied Dream-liners. It is anticipated that EASA will lift the ban on Iraqi Airways and by next IATA summer schedules (March 2022) you will see many cities re started. Here is my guess: London, Manchester, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Paris, Berlin, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt and Munich. I also expect, Washington Dulles will be a big destination for Iraqi Airways. Once the COVID restrictions are removed. Iraqi Airways will resume services to China, Japan and Malaysia India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.. I have flown Iraqi Airways many times. My first flight was on Iraqi Airways Vickers Viking from Tehran to Baghdad. I also have flown Iraqi Airways Viscounts, Boeing 747-200 and Boeing 707-320B. I am ready to fly Iraqi Airways first opportunity that I can get. Good luck Iraqi Airways.

  2. Franklin

    Really dislike the Arabic font they're using, but otherwise very cool.

  3. NAL9000

    ...also
    Non IATA
    They don't appear in booking systems. Money goes straight to the government and not reinvested in the airline. Staff untrained. Scheduled destinations are airports they have flown to one or twice for PR and to affirm bilateral agreements (where ministry often alter terms of agreements unilaterally without informing the destination country)
    Flight crews are Egyptian and all maintainence carried out by Egyptair .... In Egypt!!!! (As instructed by Boeing...

    ...also
    Non IATA
    They don't appear in booking systems. Money goes straight to the government and not reinvested in the airline. Staff untrained. Scheduled destinations are airports they have flown to one or twice for PR and to affirm bilateral agreements (where ministry often alter terms of agreements unilaterally without informing the destination country)
    Flight crews are Egyptian and all maintainence carried out by Egyptair .... In Egypt!!!! (As instructed by Boeing and Airbus before agreeing to the deal). One of the CRJs is in the hanger grounded because it was stripped for spares without catelogging and has a few Boeing rivets dotted around the fuesalage. Bombardier have onsite engineers to oversee the maintenance on the jets since. In your rose tinted anorak bearing excitement you have overlooked reality and neglected much research.

  4. NAL9000

    IA have no business class... The front cabin is First Class
    The CRJs have First class seats
    320s mostly Air Berlin cancelled orders
    747s rarely deployed on scheduled routes, and reserved for Hajj or Umra.

  5. Jacki Peterson

    The tail of the Iraqi aircraft remind me of the green 3 swallow tails of Ozark Airlines! Maybe they are coming back from the dead? :)

  6. Ron

    @retiredatlatc

    You ain't kidding. Been there, done that as well. No thanks.

  7. Eitan

    Man, Iraq airways is last on my list to try

  8. Vancouver - Char

    Fascinating post > yes, it would be fun to fly the Iraqi A220; is Iraqi a dry airline? One day you will fly through Baghdad:)

  9. Jojo

    It's a white plane with a green tail. What makes it special is the green strip. If you want to have a special flight to Bagdad make sure your plane does a corkscrew landing pattern. It's sure to be a flight you never forget

  10. JB

    Where do they fly their 777 and 747?

    Their livery is a bit similar to PIA with the stripe on the body.

    1. D3kingg

      They fly to Beijing or did at some point.

  11. stogieguy7

    You can share one of their frequent flights to Minsk with an economy class full of migrants who've signed up for a (one way) vacation package that Iraqi Airlines helps sponsor. A tour of Belarus' western borderlands that culminates in a mass sneaking under the fence so that Liuthuanians, Latvians and Poles can unexpectedly host you. It's all great fun, and you never have to return.

    Rumor has it that Iraqi Airlines gets a cut...

    You can share one of their frequent flights to Minsk with an economy class full of migrants who've signed up for a (one way) vacation package that Iraqi Airlines helps sponsor. A tour of Belarus' western borderlands that culminates in a mass sneaking under the fence so that Liuthuanians, Latvians and Poles can unexpectedly host you. It's all great fun, and you never have to return.

    Rumor has it that Iraqi Airlines gets a cut of this, so what's the Arabic word for coyote?

  12. John T

    Imagine the amount of money this airline must pour down the drain every year.

    Does Iraq need a national airline?

  13. Luke

    Based on the photos posted here of the plane exterior painted in their livery, not sure whats special and "looks cool, and most definitely stands out."?

    I mean are these planes going to have some kind of amazing Business class resembling qsuites or have saw photos of the interior?

  14. Geoff

    I'm already booked in Y from Baghdad to Kabul. Hoping they join SkyTeam soon.

  15. RetiredATLATC

    ".....I’d sure love to eventually fly Iraqi Airways and connect in Baghdad..."

    Yeah, if you knew what I knew having controlled and instructed ATC in Baghdad you'd take that above comment back.

    Also, I wouldn't wish the Baghdad airport on my worst enemy.

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NAL9000

...also Non IATA They don't appear in booking systems. Money goes straight to the government and not reinvested in the airline. Staff untrained. Scheduled destinations are airports they have flown to one or twice for PR and to affirm bilateral agreements (where ministry often alter terms of agreements unilaterally without informing the destination country) Flight crews are Egyptian and all maintainence carried out by Egyptair .... In Egypt!!!! (As instructed by Boeing and Airbus before agreeing to the deal). One of the CRJs is in the hanger grounded because it was stripped for spares without catelogging and has a few Boeing rivets dotted around the fuesalage. Bombardier have onsite engineers to oversee the maintenance on the jets since. In your rose tinted anorak bearing excitement you have overlooked reality and neglected much research.

Ron

@retiredatlatc You ain't kidding. Been there, done that as well. No thanks.

stogieguy7

You can share one of their frequent flights to Minsk with an economy class full of migrants who've signed up for a (one way) vacation package that Iraqi Airlines helps sponsor. A tour of Belarus' western borderlands that culminates in a mass sneaking under the fence so that Liuthuanians, Latvians and Poles can unexpectedly host you. It's all great fun, and you never have to return. Rumor has it that Iraqi Airlines gets a cut of this, so what's the Arabic word for coyote?

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