Flights to the Kurdistan Region
The Kurdistan Region has two international airports: Erbil International Airport and Slemani International Airport. A new international airport is under construction in Duhok. Most flights operating from Europe and the Middle East fly directly to Kurdistan, without going via Baghdad. Several IATA scheduled carriers already fly to Erbil, and more IATA airlines are expected to start flights there. Several charter companies also operate flights to Erbil or Slemani. More information on the Erbil and Slemani airports can be found on their websites:
Erbil International Airport
Slemani International Airport
Overland route to the Kurdistan Region
Overland entry into the Kurdistan Region is possible through Turkey. The suggested route is to fly to Istanbul Ataturk Airport and then take a two-hour domestic flight to Diyarbakir. (Turkish visas can be obtained on arrival at Istanbul Airport. Baggage may have to be retrieved from the International Terminal and checked in at the Domestic Terminal.)
At Diyarbakir Airport taxis can be hired to drive to the Ibrahim Khalil/Habur border crossing point, Turkey’s border with the Kurdistan Region in Iraq. Many drivers do this journey frequently and are familiar with the route. It is advisable to settle the price beforehand, a guide price is USD 150, and to check that the driver has the necessary paper work to take passengers over the border. Because of the journey time it is advisable to start the overland journey in the early morning, staying overnight in Diyarbakir if necessary.
After crossing the border at Ibrahim Khalil, another taxi can take you to your destination in the Kurdistan Region. The approximate journey time from Diyarbakir to the border is 4 hours; then from the border to Dohuk is 1.5 hours; to Erbil 4 hours; and to Slemani 6 hours. There are alternative routes via Iran and Syria but these are less frequently travelled.