An Italian Airlines (ITA) test flight arrived from Rome at Tripoli’s Mitiga airport today, carrying Prime Minister Abd Alhamid Aldabaiba. Its arrival ends a hiatus of about 10 years because of the European Union flight ban on Libya.
Flights to Rome to commence in September
Speaking to the press upon his arrival at Mitiga airport, Aldabaiba said today’s flight was a test trip and it is a practical announcement of the lifting of the ban on civil aviation imposed on Libyan airports in European airspace. He confirmed the start of flights for citizens via commercial aviation to Rome in September.
‘‘We have work ahead of us to abolish the ban imposed on Libyan aircraft in the European Union, and today’s step will help in this direction.’’, he explained.
More visas issued to Libyans
The Prime Minister indicated that the rate of acceptance of Libyan applications for European visas has risen to about 75 percent of applications at some embassies, stressing the government’s intention to provide more facilities with the reopening of the skies.
For his part, the Director of the Italian Civil Aviation Corporation expressed his happiness at the return of direct flights between Libya and Italy, describing the event as historic and important for both countries and peoples.
The Tripoli government website said the decision to resume flights between Tripoli and Rome comes after intensive meetings of the committee formed by the Prime Minister to lift the air ban, with the aim of achieving movement and travel for Libyan citizens.