Egypt's national airline EgyptAir is suspending flights to and from Iraq's Kurdish regional capital of Erbil starting Friday after the Baghdad government banned flights to the region, a source at the company told Ahram Online on Wednesday.
The decision comes one day after the Iraqi Civil Aviation Authority sent a notice to foreign airline companies informing them of Baghdad's decision to ban international flights to and from Iraqi Kurdistan after the region held a referendum on independence Monday.
Iraqi PM Haidar Al-Abadi said the flight ban will remain in place until airports in the region are placed under the control of the country's central government in Baghdad.
EgyptAir normally runs periodic flights to Erbil as well as the Iraqi capital of Baghdad.
On Tuesday, Cairo said it is “deeply concerned” about the possible secession of the Kurdish region in northern Iraq in the wake of Monday’s referendum, calling on all parties to avoid “unilateral measures."