The Mideast's biggest airline, Emirates, says it will resume flights from Dubai to the Iraqi Kurdish regional capital of Irbil after halting them following advances by the Islamic State group.

The Dubai-based carrier said Thursday it will resume twice-weekly flights Sunday, increasing them to four weekly flights in December.

It stopped Irbil flights in August for what it called "operational reasons," though it continued flying to Baghdad and the southern city of Basra.

Dubai is a major regional commercial hub and home to the Middle East's busiest airport.

Majid Al Mualla, Emirates divisional senior vice president for commercial operations, said he hoped the move "will help support business and international investment across numerous sectors" in Irbil and benefit passengers connecting from the Gulf states, Europe and the United States.