Saturday, April 23, 2005

New Iraq's New Airline

Years ago, I asked why the aircraft belonging to the new Iraqi Airways were all registered under 9L-, that is, Sierra Leonean registration. Stranger yet, some of the well-travelled Boeing 737s involved had Sierra Leone registrations sequential with various VB ships. 9L-LEG, serial no. 22885, for example, had seen service at Trans Air Congo with 9L-LEC, an An-12 pictured in Baghdad in 2004 with "Skylink" titles and widely held to be a Boutster. They all officially belonged to some lot called Teebah Airlines.

Now, I finally bothered to check this, and it turns out Teebah belongs to Sheikh Hussain al-Khawam, head of one of Iraq's biggest tribes. Interestingly, the al-Khawams are also on reports of the beneficiaries of Oil/Food scams. Funny that. Yer man's business manager, Hatim al-Khawam, was also appointed by the US/UK appointed Iraq Governing Council as Ambassador to Greece. Small world..

(Note - post edited to add more linky goodness)

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