Iraqi Airways fights back against monopoly claims

IRAQI Airways is slowly getting back on its feet, according to operations director, Captain Guy Moss (right). After years of embargo by the United Nations, following Saddam Hussein’s attack of Kuwait in 1990, the once formidable Arabian carrier is undergoing a process of renaissance, according to Moss.

The first visible results of this transformation are cargo movements for the US Army between Iraq and airports in the Middle East, along with intercontinental flights to Germany.

“It will need at least 10 years to bring in necessary skills and have all processes running smoothly,” predicts the Ghana-born and UK-raised executive. The tasks are undoubtedly huge, as Iraqi Airways has to begin again practically from scratch.

“During the last 18 years the carrier was more or less isolated from the outside world due to sanctions imposed by the United Nations against the Saddam regime,” says Moss. “So without any exposure to international aviation the airline’s staff had no chance to get skills and adapt to modern cargo processes.” Consequently, one of the manager’s most urgent tasks is to teach the carrier’s workforce the basics of today’s commercial operations and what customers need and expect from a modern airline. “We are overstaffed with most of our workforce approaching their pension age,” states Moss.

Another big challenge to be solved is the step from hand written documentation, accounting procedures, flight reservation and the booking of cargo shipments to electronic systems. “There is sufficient money to buy computers but the staff wouldn’t know how to use them,” explains Moss. This is why he believes training courses have to come first before hardware and software are purchased.

For the full story read the latest issue of Air Cargo News, dated 18 December. To subscribe, click on ‘Subscribe’ above.


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