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Cablegate: Travel to Iraq From Jordan 2: Rates Rise for Hacc

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 AMMAN 006428

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

DEPT FOR EB/TRA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAIR ETRD ETTC IZ JO
SUBJECT: TRAVEL TO IRAQ FROM JORDAN 2: RATES RISE FOR HACC
FLIGHT

REF: A. AMMAN 5890
B. AMMAN 6064

1. (U) SUMMARY: In the interim prior to the creation of a
logistics center to assist USG personnel transiting Jordan en
route to Iraq (ref A), the Embassy wishes to supply the
Department and all other interested USG personnel with
information on current options for travel from Jordan to
Iraq. This is the first update of the Embassy's cable
presenting all travel options to Baghdad; the information
herein supersedes the information given in all prior cables.
Notable changes of the past two weeks include an increase in
ticket rates, an additional Sunday flight, and an expansion
of categories of authorized travelers for the RJ/HACC charter
flight, a tightening of the categories of authorized
travelers for the AirServ flight, and a reduction in UNHAS
flights into Iraq. END SUMMARY.

2. (U) There are currently three different ways to travel
from Amman to Baghdad by air. All three leave from Marka
Airport, located in downtown Amman, about 25 miles from Queen
Alia International Airport.

---------------
RJ/HACC CHARTER
---------------

3. (U) The Humanitarian Assistance Coordination Center (HACC)
in Amman, in partnership with Royal Jordanian Airlines
initiated a charter flight from Amman to Baghdad on August
18. A 48-seat airplane departs Marka Airport at 0830 and
arrives in Baghdad at 1130 on Sundays, Mondays, Tuesdays,
Wednesdays, and Fridays. Return flights depart Baghdad at
1330 and arrive in Amman by 1530 on those same days. On
October 16, the service will begin regular Thursday flights.
This flight is available for two categories of travelers. DOD
and CPA personnel, diplomatic personnel of the U.S. and
coalition governments, and officials of Iraqi ministries will
be charged USD 125 one-way and USD 200 round-trip and will
receive first priority in the booking of the flight.
Authorized USAID, CPA, and DOD contractors, personnel from
the UN and humanitarian organizations, and non-coalition
diplomats will have secondary priority in bookings and will
be charged USD 425 one-way and USD 800 round-trip for the
flight. USAID personnel will be given third priority in
bookings, and will pay USD 165 one-way and USD 330
round-trip. Finally, other passengers (primarily accredited
journalists) may be authorized to travel by HACC based upon
special circumstances. These will be given last priority and
will pay USD 600 one-way and USD 1100 round-trip. These
rates represent an increase from previous levels, but will
likely soon be decreased if insurance companies agree to
remove a supplemental risk premium.

4. (U) All passengers are limited to 20 kilos of baggage and
will be charged USD 5 per kilo for excess baggage. In
Baghdad, private contractor CusterBattles offers a USD 25
land transport service in conjunction with flight arrival and
departure times that runs between the airport, the Republican
Palace, the Palestine and Sheraton hotels, and the
IAC/Al-Rasheed. Travelers may register for this flight from
Amman or get more information about it by contacting LTC
Chuck Litzleman of HACC-Amman at 962-77-485-998 or by e-mail
at ChuckLitz@hotmail.com. Upon approval by HACC, or with
valid identification certifying membership in one of the
above categories of authorized travelers, passengers will
purchase tickets for a flight directly from Royal Jordanian
Airlines.

-------
AIRSERV
-------

5. (U) A second air option is offered by the USAID grantee
AirServ, which is operating 14-seat aircraft from Amman to
Baghdad twice a day on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday, and
once a day on Tuesday. Flights from Amman on Sunday and
Wednesday also continue to Erbil, and on Monday and Thursday
also continue to Basra. (This schedule will be valid
throughout October.) USAID personnel fly free of charge on
this flight. Personnel of USAID implementing partners and
unaffiliated humanitarian NGOs are charged USD 165 for a
one-way ticket to Baghdad, with extra charges to continue to
Basra and Erbil. US and foreign diplomats may use these
flights if space is available and are charged USD 660 for a
one-way ticket to Baghdad, with extra charges for Basra and
Erbil. No military personnel are allowed on the flight.
Passengers may carry no more than 20 kilos of luggage; excess
baggage will be carried at an additional charge if there is
room. In Baghdad, AirServ does not offer ground
transportation from the airport; passengers will need to make
their own arrangements for such transportation. Persons
wishing to register for this flight, obtain a full flight
schedule, or find out further information may do so by
contacting the AirServ booking office at 962-79-694-1365 or
by e-mail at Jordan@airserv.org

-----
UNHAS
-----

6. (U) UN Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) flights are a
third option for air transport from Amman to Baghdad. The UN
is currently operating four aircraft flying at different
times between Amman and Baghdad, as well as to other
destinations in Iraq and in neighboring countries. According
to the current flight schedule, there is at least one flight
a day, departing Amman between 0830 and 1000 and traveling to
Baghdad and back, from Sunday to Thursday. There are also
flights departing Amman at 0830 for Erbil on Mondays,
Wednesdays, and Fridays. UNHAS no longer flies to Basra.
The recent drawdown of UN personnel in Iraq has meant that
the schedule is subject to change on a day-to-day basis,
depending upon the needs of the UN. It also likely will mean
a substantial decrease in flights into Iraq in the near
future, after the last of the UN staff evacuations have been
completed. Current schedules may be obtained by contacting
UNHAS at 962-79-666-9947 or by e-mail at
rabie.allouh@wfp.org. Seats on the UN flight are available
free of charge to two tiers of passengers, with UN personnel
given priority. If space is available, members of
humanitarian NGOs operating in support of the UN mission to
Iraq and high-level (First Secretary and above) diplomatic
personnel on official travel related to humanitarian work in
Iraq may also use the aircraft free of charge, on a
first-come, first-served basis. If space remains after these
two categories of passengers have been fully served, other
governmental personnel may be able to obtain seats on the
flight subject if clearance is granted from the office of the
UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Iraq. Passengers are limited
to a maximum of 25 kilos of luggage, although this amount may
be limited even further, based on the needs of the UN. In
Baghdad, the UN is offering land transport between the
airport and the Canal Hotel, timed with the arrival and
departure schedule. Passengers for UNHAS flights cannot
register by telephone; booking requests must be placed by
e-mail to iraq.unhas@wfp.org. Further information on UNHAS
booking procedures, regulations, and points of contact may
obtained at www.unjlc.org

-----------------------------
OTHER LOGISTICAL REQUIREMENTS
-----------------------------

6. (SBU) There are no visa requirements for entry into Iraq;
travelers to Iraq crossing the land border must pay a fee
equivalent to approx. 40 US cents. Jordanian compliance with
CPA Order 16 (signed June 27, 2003), requesting that foreign
governments honor expired Iraqi passports less than four
years out of date, has been spotty. Jordan does not require
visas for Iraqi passport holders; however, it has turned away
many Iraqis at the port of entry. GOJ is also considering
the imposition of a more stringent set of documentary
requirements for Iraqis in the near future (ref B). Jordan
does require visas for US and EU passport holders, which may
be purchased for JD 18/USD 25 upon arrival in Jordan. USG
employees are reminded to consult the Foreign Visitors Guide
for information on official notification procedures for
traveling to Jordan.
GNEHM

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