Tripoli, 1 May:
The first British Airways flight since the . . .[restrict]revolution began last year flew from London to Tripoli today, Tuesday. As of today, the airline is operating three flights a week between Tripoli and London — on Tuesdays Thursday and Sundays.
“We are extremely pleased to be returning to this ket North African market and we anticipate strong demand as companies return to Libya,” said Sarah Cain, British Airways; North Africa Commercial Manager in a press statement.
“We will have daily flights as of 24 October if demand picks up,” said Andrew Hammans, BA’s Africa Commercial Development Manager who was in Tripoli for the launch of the route.
The Airbus 320 that flew in to Tripoli carried just 32 passengers out of a possible total of 42 seats being sold. That was due to fuel and weight restrictions. For the moment BA are not refuelling in Tripoli because of fuel certification issues and aircraft are having to return to London with a sufficient fuel payload for the flight.
In any event, Hammans noted, “it takes six months” to build up a route. BA had just had two months preparing for today’s launch. However, there were a large numbers of forward bookings, he said, in particular from the US and Canada. They were “massive” he said.
Hammans pointed out that there would be no more BMI flights between London and Tripoli. BA had now bought out BMI and was fully incorporating it into its own services. [/restrict]