Cairo-headquartered EgyptAir says it will start flights to Irbil and Baghdad from the middle of July.

This is part of the airline’s plan to focus on emerging markets and to link Iraq with Europe and North America through its hub in Cairo.

The airline will operate seven weekly flights to Iraq, which will include four to Baghdad and three flights to Irbil starting on the 15 and 18 of July.

“Egypt and Iraq are linked together with commercial and cultural ties [and] Iraq represents a fertile market for the Egyptian investments,” says Hussein Massoud, chairman and chief executive of EgyptAir Holdings.

“EgyptAir is confident of its ability to execute a development plan in the Middle East and to create a seamless link with Europe and Africa,” says Ayman Nasr, EgyptAir’s chairman and chief executive officer.