CAIRO: EgyptAir cancelled its flight to the city of Erbil in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq Saturday due to the deteriorating security conditions in the country, Al-Ahram reported Saturday.
EgyptAir spokesperson Dina El-Fouly said the company has notified all passengers booked for flight no. 653 heading to Arbil a few hours before takeoff time.
“The safety of EgyptAir’s passengers and crew is of essential importance, and the airline will continue to monitor the security situation in northern Iraq closely.” El-Fouly said.
The decision coincides with US President Barack Obama’s authorization to launch a limited air strike in Iraq under the pretext of saving the lives and preventing a potential genocide of Iraq’s religious minorities trapped by the Islamic State militant group, better known as ISIS.
Arbil is located 88 km east of Mosul and is the capital city of the Kurdistan Region with a population of 1.5 million. The city is being used as a base by the U.S.
During the past few weeks, EgyptAir had canceled its four weekly flights to Baghdad before being resumed afterwards.
EgyptAir organizes three weekly flights to Erbil.
For the past two months, ISIS militants have recently seized a major dam in Iraq and forced a mass exodus of religious minorities.