Tripoli, 12 February 2013:
The government has ordered a temporary ban on international flights to and from Misurata, Sebha and Abraq airports. . . .[restrict]The ban will last between 14 to 18 February, during the period marking the second anniversary of the revolution. The government says it is for security purposes. It also says that there will be limited international flights from Tripoli and Benghazi.
Lufthansa and Austrian Airlines had already decided of their own volition to suspend flights during the period. However, they are the only airlines to do so. Air Malta has told the Libya Herald that it will be “business as usual” during the five days but is telling passengers to take plenty of extra time to get to Tripoli airport because of the increased number of checkpoints on the road.
British Airways also says that there is no change to its timetable of three flights to and from London weekly. Other international airlines say they too are flying as normal.
Misrata airport officials are deeply unhappy about the decision, which they say they only heard about from television. No one from the Ministry of Transportation officially informed them of the decision, a source at the airport told the Libya Herald today, Tuesday.
He said that the airport was now calling on the Ministry to cancel any such decision. “We need to keep open. All the international flights are fully booked. Today they were full.”