By Tom Westcott.
London, 3 October 2014:
Turkish Airlines has restarted chartered cargo flights . . .[restrict]to Misrata, two months after suspending all operations to Libya.
A spokesman for the airline told the Libya Herald that the first cargo flight to Misrata operated on 18 September and there had been a further five subsequent chartered flights. Turkish Airlines said it was unable to share any details relating to what cargo was transported, who had chartered the aircraft or how many further flights had been booked.
Before suspending flights in mid-July, Turkish Airlines was the market leader in airfreight in Libya. The country has seen a drastic drop in imports, both by air and sea, since fighting broke out in the capital in July. This has reportedly in particular affected food imports and medical supplies.
Despite resuming cargo charters, Turkish Airlines still has no date to restart passenger flights to any Libyan airport. “There is no new development on our passenger flights to Libya,” the spokesman confirmed.
Libyan airline Buraq Air is also preparing to get its flight schedules back underway. One of its planes damaged during the recent fighting at Tripoli International Airport has just returned from Malta. The Boeing 737-400 was damaged by bullets and shrapnel, according to the Aviation Safety Network, but is now reported to be back in Libya after undoing a programme of repairs and maintenance. [/restrict]