Germany’s national airline Lufthansa is planning to start flying to Iraq later this year, to tap into growing demand for international connections to the country.

The carrier is currently considering operating flights to the capital Baghdad and to the Kurdish city of Irbil from its hubs in Frankfurt and Munich.

Lufthansa expects to launch the new services in the summer of 2010 once it has obtained the traffic rights.

The airline currently operates 88 flights a week to 11 countries around the Middle East.

Prior to the 1990 Gulf War, Lufthansa operated flights to Baghdad. Austrian Airlines, part of the Lufthansa Group, already flies to Irbil.