The United Arab Emirates’ civil aviation regulator has given approval for local carriers to resume flights to Baghdad, reversing a directive that halted flights after bullets hit a Dubai plane as it landed in the Iraqi capital late last month.
Two passengers were lightly injured when three or four bullets hit the body of a plane operated by budget carrier flydubai, damaging the fuselage, but officials were unable to identify the source of the gunfire.
“Based on the assessment of the information provided by all stakeholders…which reported that the incident was an accident…GCAA’s approach is to allow operators of aircrafts registered in the UAE to resume flights to Baghdad,” the General Civil Aviation Authority said on Thursday.
Flights will be subject to increased safety and security requirements, the regulator added without elaborating.
Dubai’s flagship carrier Emirates said earlier this week that it planned to resume flights to Baghdad on March 1.
At least seven airlines suspended flights after the incident; Turkish Airlines and Lebanon’s Middle East Airlines resumed them within days.