Shafaq News/ The long distance prompted Iraq's state-owned airlines to employ Egyptian pilots to help complete caretaker Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi's trip to the United States, a senior officer said on Thursday.
The officer, who preferred to remain anonymous, confirmed in a statement to Shafaq News Agency the rumors that sparked controversy on social media were true.
"The Egyptian pilots were employed to assist the two main Iraqi pilots because of the long distance. The pilot needs to rest during such a long trip," the officer said.
"It is only a special and rare case. Egyptian pilots were employed on previous occasions for presidential trips. Iraq already has contracts with Egyptian pilots to deal with such situations," the source said.