By Tom Westcott.
23 October 2014:
Air Malta has denied it has any plans to start flying to Tobruk but says the prospect . . .[restrict]of resuming flights to Tripoli’s Mitiga airport is now looking very promising.
“Tobruk is out of the question for us,” an Air Malta source told the Libya Herald after reports that the airline would soon start flying to the eastern town circulated on social media websites. “Tobruk is not an audited airport and therefore not considered as an international airport for us.”
The airline, which suspended flights to Libya after fighting broke out around Tripoli International Airport in July, was focusing its efforts on restarting flights to Mitiga Airport, he said.
This was progressing well, with Air Malta having received permission to fly to Mitiga within the last few days, the source said. “We are now working with the UN and the EU Border Assistance Mission (EUBAM), who are in the process of analysing Mitiga Airport, checking for ordinance etc. But we don’t think this will take too long.” He added that aviation safety organisations were also involved and that the airline would then have to wait for its insurance company to also give the green light.
Air Malta, which has its Tripoli office fully manned and operational, is keen to restart flights to Libya as soon as possible. “We cannot do without Libya because it is a big market for us,” he said. “Tripoli is the most important airport because people who are going to the desert are also using Mitiga.” He added that the airline was also looking at the possibility of starting flights to Misrata.
In the meantime, Air Malta continues to operate three substitute flights per week out of Jerba, in Tunisia, with an Airbus A320. This route was proving very popular, the source said, with 190 passengers travelling on today’s flights. [/restrict]