On Tuesday, the press office of Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Abadi announced that international air traffic to and from Iraqi Kurdistan's airports should be resumed within one week. The decision came just a few weeks after the Iraqi government decided to extend the flight ban by another three months until May 31.
Relations between the Iraqi federal authorities and the autonomous region of Iraqi Kurdistan deteriorated sharply following the Kurdish independence referendum on September 25 that was deemed illegal by Baghdad. Following the vote, Iraq imposed sanctions on the Kurdish regional government; the country restricted banking operations, closed border crossings and banned international flights to and from the region. The last international flight from Iraqi Kurdistan left on September 29.