Dubai's Emirates to resume flights to northern Iraqi city

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The Middle East's biggest airline says it plans to resume flights to the northern Iraqi city of Irbil after suspending them amid concerns about deteriorating security earlier this year.

Dubai-based carrier Emirates said Wednesday that it will restart flights to the Iraqi Kurdish region's capital four times a week on Aug. 15.

The airline says the decision follows the completion of a detailed risk assessment. It is rerouting the flights as a precaution to avoid certain parts of Iraqi airspace, making for longer journey times than in the past.

Emirates halted operations to Baghdad in January after a plane operated by discount carrier FlyDubai came under fire there, and in March it suspended its Irbil operations. It has continued flying to the southern Iraqi oil hub of Basra.