By Libya Herald staff.
Tripoli, 9 March 2015:
Tripoli’s Mitiga airport was attacked this morning, again by a fighter plane believed to belong . . .[restrict]to the Libyan National Army (LNA). No one was hurt and there was no damage. Flights were cancelled for an hour but then resumed.
There have been a number of ineffective air strikes on the base in recent weeks, although last Thursday a three-day moratorium on air attacks against Libya Dawn forces was announced by the head of the official air force, Saqr Adam Geroushi. It had been ordered by General Khalifa Hafter, he said, with the aim of giving the dialogue talks in Morocco “a chance” to succeed.
In the event, the moratorium lasted four days.
In line with recent attacks on Mitiga, a revenge attack on Zintan by Libya dawn aircraft appears likely. Tit-for-tat strikes on the two places have become the norm in recent days. Zintan controls Wattiya airbase from which today’s jet fighter is thought to have taken off. Zintan also has its own airport.
Meanwhile, it reported that that employees of Libya Ground Services, the state-owned aviation ground handling company, plan to go on strike tomorrow, Tuesday. Claiming not to have been paid for three months, the staff threaten to disrupt flights at all functioning airports.
On the brighter side for passengers based in and around Tripoli, it has also been announced that flights will start shortly from Mitiga to Algiers. Libyan Airlines is planning to launch the service as of 28 March 28 with two flights a week.
At present, Istanbul is currently the only main international destination served from Mitiga. Afriqiyah Airways flights to Amman and Alexandria were brought to temporary halt yesterday after Labraq airport staff decided not to handle them. Both Jordan and Egypt had earlier ruled that flight originating in Libya Dawn-controlled airports had to land at either Labraq or Tobruk for inspection before proceeding.
It is not known if the Labraq decision was politically motivated. What is known, however, is that the small Labraq airport, now Libya’s busiest, is heavy overstretched at present.
Meanwhile Medavia, which suspended the service from Malta last week after airstrikes at Mitiga is looking to resume it as soon as possible. [/restrict]