Libya Herald Reporters.
Tripoli, 30 July 2014:
Afriqiyah is using Djerba as a temporary base to run its four services into EU airspace . . .[restrict]using its Irish registered Airbus A320s.
The first flight yesterday from London Gatwick brought 60 passengers to Djerba who were then bussed to the frontier. There they were picked up by a second set of coaches which took them on to Tripoli bus terminal.
A manager with Afriqiyah told the Libya Herald that a return flight went from Djerba to Rome today, there will be a return flight to Paris tomorrow and the Dusseldorf service will run on Friday. The plan is to run the same flights on the same days next week.
However there remains an outside chance that Afriqiyah will be using Misrata next week. At the moment it has not been possible to maintain insurance for the Irish-registered planes to fly into Libyan airspace.
This newspaper understands that top Afriqiyah management have travelled to Ireland to see if insurance cover cannot be found. If that cover can be put in place then Afriqiyah will move the departure point for its four Europeans services to Misrata.
It is still not possible for the airline to use Mitiga for these flights because it has not yet been inspected by EU surveyors and passed as fit. Nevertheless the airport to the east of Tripoli is being used by Libyan carriers.
There is understood to have been an Afriqiyah flight from Mitiga to Cairo today and another to Tunis. This latter would allow EU-bound passengers to travel from the Tunisian to Djerba to pick up a European flight, or vice versa. However as the Afriqiyah manager told this paper today, the situation is confused.
The airline has been using Twitter to announce flights but a projected Djerba-London flight today did not go because no passengers signed up. Would-be travellers are being advised to watch social media or call Afriqiyah offices who may be able to advise on the current schedule. [/restrict]