By Tom Westcott.
London, 1 August 2014:
International airlines remain unsure about potential dates for restarting flights to Libya, with Tripoli and Benghazi . . .[restrict]airports both closed and the overall security situation still unclear.
Turkish Airlines said that, at present, flights to Benghazi and Misrata were cancelled until 2 August and Tripoli flights until 31 August.
“The resumption date of flights will depend on the circumstances,” a spokesperson for the airline told the Libya Herald. “Misrata airport is available for flights but we cannot operate a flight there due to operational risks and insurance.”
As well as the impact on thousands of passengers, the current situation at the airports is also affecting the air cargo market and the country’s imports.
Turkish Airlines is one of the largest airfreight operators to Libya but the spokesman said both the airline and cargo customers were still waiting for news from the Libyan authorities. He added that there was a possibility that some cargo could be alternatively transported by sea.
British Airways said flights were suspended up to and including 5 August. However, with no definitive comment from the government on the damage to the airport or what is being done to address either this or the security situation at the airport, it is highly likely that this date will again be extended.
Despite reports in April that Lufthansa and Austrian would restart flights to Libya in October, following a security breach at the airport earlier in the year, the airlines confirmed today that they had no plans to resume services at any date.