By Tom Westcott.
London, 29 September 2014:
Libya’s Executive Authority for Special Flights (EACS, owned by the Ministry of Defence, is using its . . .[restrict]planes to transport officials from both the government of Prime Minister Abdullah Al-Thinni and the Tripoli-based ‘government’ of Omar Al-Hassi.
“We are a professional organisation so don’t take political sides,” EACS’ Quality Manager Moktar Aljermi told the Libya Herald. “Whoever is in charge will be transported.”
Since Libya now had two governments, he explained, EACS was transporting members of both. “If the aircraft were under the jurisdiction of the east of the country, they are operating under the old government but the aircraft in Tripoli are now operating under the new government. It depends on where the aircraft are.”
EACS, which operates internal and international VIP, and non-commercial special flights, is under the authority of the Prime Minister’s office and owns some of country’s most superior aircraft, including two of Qaddafi’s former private jets.
Aljermi added that it was not clear what damage EACS aircraft or its facility, based at one end of the now heavily-damaged Tripoli International Airport, had sustained in the recent fighting in the capital. “We’ve not yet been able to get to the airport to make assessments,” he explained. “But I think it will be clearer in the next few weeks.”
Most of the EACS fleet were not at the airport when the fighting broke out, Aljermi said, but one plane – a Dassault Falcon 50 – was, and is understood to have been damaged. The Flight Safety Foundation’s Aviation Safety Network said the aircraft had sustained “unknown damage” adding that “rebels climbed on the fuselage and wings” on the 23 August. Aljermi added that it “probably got hit by some bullets.”
An EACS office was reopening, he said, adding that for the time being operations would be resumed from Tripoli’s Mitiga Airport. [/restrict]