October 09, 2004

This is News To Me

The daily headlines and network news leads us to believe that Iraq is hopeless, dare I say it, a quagmire, soon to degenerate into civil war and a return to the dark side.

Not exactly. While the front pages scream "Failure!" and the editorials dream of cutting & running, the business pages often tell a different story. Does one desk know what the other is printing at the NY Times? I suspect not.

Iraqi Airways Flies Again, With One Jet

BAGHDAD, Oct. 5 - After lying all but dormant during 14 years of sanctions and still reeling from the damage it has suffered in the United States-led war, Iraq's national airline made a humble reappearance on the commercial aviation scene last month, with a single, 116-seat Boeing 737-200 flying to two nearby Middle East capitals, Damascus and Amman.

The airline, Iraqi Airways, has even begun making plans to expand its fleet, add destinations, renovate its headquarters and generally upgrade for a new age of commercial aviation.

"We are looking at this as a business," said Atta Nabeil, Iraq's interim deputy minister of transportation, who oversees the government-owned airline. "We don't want to subsidize anything. We would like to operate just like any normal private operator. We would like to make a profit."


"Iraqi Airways has got a lot of catching up to do," Michael L. Repking, senior vice president of Global Aviation, an aviation consultancy based in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, said in a phone interview from the company's Dubai office. "First they must refurbish their fleet, then their airport, and then all the airports in the country."

The industry the airline has re-entered is under far greater commercial pressure than 14 years ago. Now, even government-owned airlines that once could exist simply as totems of national pride must satisfy investors and regulators, as well as travelers with greater choices and expectations. And the region is now dominated by sleek Persian Gulf carriers like Emirates Airlines of Dubai and Qatar Airways, based in places where airports have invested in multibillion-dollar expansions.

According to Mr. Dawood, an additional 100 or so international passenger and cargo carriers have submitted applications to land at the 21-year-old, 18-gate Baghdad International Airport.

Business apears to be humming, in spite of security issues as technology and telecom giants vie to remake Iraq into the "Silicon Cresent."

Odd that we hear nothing of this on the nightly news.

Rebuild Iraq 2005: Be a player in the regionís most promising market.

Be part of a success story. Relive the success of Rebuild Iraq 2004. Last yearís exhibition surpassed all expectations. It attracted more than 1,400 exhibitors targeting key Iraqi economic sectors, from 48 countries. All 35,000 square meters of exhibition space at the Kuwait International Fairs Ground were fully booked.

48 countries.

Or Iraq Procurement 2004, which will take place in Amman, Jordan on 22-24 November 2004.

Then there's this:

Iraq Suppliers portal looking for partners

Companies who wish to aid in the rebuilding effort in Iraq are invited to be recognised as an official supplier for the reconstruction process through inclusion on Iraq Suppliers, an international online information resource created in association with Iraq Procurement, a series of high profile events that look to realise the trade and investment potential of Iraq.

Iraq Suppliers is designed for the benefit of companies keen to earn a share of the reconstruction projects and trade opportunities available in Iraq. Businesses are able to search Iraq Suppliers to find required goods and services from contractors, sub-contractors, industries, traders and service providers.

The author of this release might rethink their choice of verbs.

HP attacks Iraq market

Hewlett-Packard has concluded a two day training workshop in Amman, Jordan, to introduce the company's product portfolio to resellers in Iraq. The event was modelled on the popular HP Academy. Director Hazem Bazan said the event was targeted at maximising awareness among the reseller community in the new market of Iraq, and providing them with adequate information.

I may be naive, but sounds like a lot of business activity and contract bidding for a quagmire.

Posted by feste at October 9, 2004 05:57 PM | TrackBack

When are you uppity little bloggers going to stop covering for the arrogant and corrupt BushReich? You're nothing but a bunch of right-wing, partisan hacks with carpal tunnel syndrome and a collective case of agoraphobia. Get a life, loser...

Better yet, get a journalism degree.

The professional media looked into this story and rightly dismissed it as utter nonsense a long, long time ago.

Posted by: Joe Klein at October 13, 2004 03:10 AM
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