By Tom Westcott.
Tripoli, 27 June 2013:
State airline Afriqiyah Airways is adding a fourth flight to its Tripoli-London service, responding to rising . . .[restrict]demand over the summer months.
The new Friday flight will start operating on 12 July and will continue until at least October.
“The Libyan traffic between London and Tripoli has continued to grow, with the result that we are now able to offer a fourth flight,” head of Afriqiyah’s UK operations Alan Mates told the Libya Herald. “If the flight proves popular, we may consider keeping the fourth service and possibly adding a fifth weekly flight,” he added.
The airline’s European routes are currently serviced by a Swiftair MD-83, wet-leased from Spain, while Afriqiyah waits for the EU flight ban on Libyan aircraft to be lifted. To service the extra flight, Afriqiyah will be wet-leasing another aircraft – an Airbus A319 – from Tunisair. The A319 has not flown in EU airspace before, so Afriqiyah is now in the process of organising the necessary permits.
A high percentage of Afriqiyah’s customers are Libyans and ex-pats, visiting friends and family or involved in business. “Many of them are repeat customers, who like our product and have stood by us,” Mates said, “and they look forward to the days when we can offer flights with our own aircraft and services.”
Afriqiyah, along with fellow state airline Libyan Airlines, is now waiting to hear the result of the recent EU Air Safety Committee, held on 25 June, to see if they are any closer to the ban being lifted.
British Airways also recently announced that they would also be adding a fourth service to their thrice-weekly London-Tripoli flights from September. [/restrict]