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Over 650 travellers from Sweden stranded in Iraq

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13:14 CEST+02:00
Travel agency Flyhome, which was founded last year, had advertised "ethnic flights" as its specialty and arranged trips to Lebanon and Iraq from Sweden, with immigrants from those countries as its main target.

On Wednesday, the company declared bankruptcy and slightly more than 650 people are currently stranded in Iraq.

"There are not very many assets left in the bankruptcy estate, so room to manoeuvre for me as a trustee is very small," said lawyer Lennart Landrén. "I believe that those who bought tickets but did not get to fly will not have priority when it comes to demands from the bankruptcy."

There is a clear indication that the passengers will not get any money back or compensation flights from the company.

"Those who are stranded can now turn to the Transport Agency [Transportstyrelsen] and the Consumer Agency [Konsumentverket] and discuss the situation that has arisen," said Landrén.

"It is a sad statement to make," he added. "According to the information I have received, there are no guarantees provided."

The airline wrote on its website that the reason behind the bankruptcy is an earlier dispute with airline Primera Air, which forced Flyhome to repay millions of kronor to travellers who were not permitted to fly to Iraq because it did not have permission for flights to Iraq.

The incident occurred at the end of June, when 150 passengers on the way to Erbil in northern Iraq, the capital of the Kurdistan Autonomous Region, had to turn back at Gothenburg's Landvetter Airport.

Another 450 passengers were stranded in Beirut on Wednesday while awaiting their return to Sweden. Flyhome said on its website that travellers with tickets from Beirut to Gothenburg would fly home later on Wednesday evening.

As to whether the report on the website was true, Landrén said, "I do not know. The representative says that it is true, but whether it is true or not, I do not know."

The owner of the company was not available for comment on Wednesday.

"From what I understand, the business had already ceased operation one week before the bankruptcy," Landrén said.

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