Gatwick gains Iraq link as summer network expands

Iraqi airline FlyErbil is among carriers operating from Gatwick for the first time this summer.

The carrier is operating direct to Erbil in northern Iraq with the inbound service to London involving a two-hour stopover in Plovdiv, Bulgaria.

The new route comes despite the Foreign Office advising against all but essential travel to the Kurdistan region of northern Iraq and against all travel to the rest of the country, including Baghdad.

A total of 14 new routes are being added to Gatwick’s network, including the weekly Friday flights to Erbil.

ITA Airways, Atlantic Airways, Azores Airlines and Singapore Airlines are also starting services from Gatwick.

The additional routes will see 56 airlines using Gatwick to serve 223 destinations.

ITA Airways is running a daily service to Rome, while Atlantic Airways is operating twice a week to Vagar in the Faroe Islands and Azores Airlines also twice a week to Ponta Delgada.

A new route to Varna in Bulgaria by Wizz Air starts today (Tuesday) with three fights a week while Salerno in Italy gains a twice-weekly EasyJet connection from July 13.

Additional services to Jersey and Skiathos are also now operating.

Flights by China Southern to Guangzhou in China start three times a week from Thursday (June 20) followed by Singapore Airlines to its home hub five times a week from June 22.

Other new long-haul options include Halifax and St John’s in Canada by WestJet and Beijing by Air China.

Air India starts serving Bengaluru from August 18, while services to destinations including Bangkok, Islamabad and Rovaniemi (Finland) begin later in the year.

Aviation development vice president Stephanie Wear said: “It’s fantastic that London Gatwick can offer passengers such an exciting range of destinations this summer, whether for holidays, visiting family and friends, or business trips.

“As we work towards our vision of becoming the airport for everyone, whatever your journey, we are committed to providing passengers as much choice as possible. 

“We are delighted to continue growing our already extensive network and welcome new airlines including ITA Airways, Atlantic Airways, Azores Airlines, Singapore Airlines and FlyErbil.”

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