By Libya Herald staff.
Tripoli, 11 April 2014:
Libyan Airlines launched . . .[restrict]its inaugural flight to Djerba, Tunisia yesterday from Tripoli International Airport.
There will be three flights per week, on Saturday, Monday and Tuesdays, with an aim to make the flights daily, the airliner reports.
The flights will come as a welcomed relief to passengers in and out of Tripoli as British Airways, Lufthansa/Austrian and Alitalia have recently suspended flights to Libya after an explosion caused two holes in Tripoli International Airport’s runway on 21 March.
It will be recalled that Libyan aircraft, including the two main carriers Libyan Airlines and Afriqiyah, have been operating a self-imposed flight ban into the EU since April 2012 over EU concerns about Libyan aviation standards. The Libyan authorities went for a self-ban because one imposed by the EU, once in place, would take much longer to lift.
Originally it was expected that the flight ban would end in November 2012, by which point the European concerns would have been addressed. In the event, the date has long gone and despite regular Libyan announcements that an end is in sight, the ban is still in place.
Meanwhile both the main Libyan carriers have been wet-leasing aircraft to service their routes into the EU.
Afriqiyah has since signed an agreement with an Irish company to operate flights from the Irish Republic, enabling it to sidestep the EU flight ban. [/restrict]