Emirates to resume flights to Iraq's Irbil after security review; Baghdad still suspended

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.