By Libya Herald reporter.
Tripoli, 22 September 2015:
Libyan Wings’s inaugural flight from Tripoli’s Mitiga Airport to Istanbul finally took off early this . . .[restrict]morning today.
The airline had announced that it would start flying last weekend. In the event, the first flight was then supposed to have left yesterday morning but was delayed until today. It finally took off at 2:15 this morning according to an announcement by Mitiga Airport.
The airline, owned by Libyan businessman Wissam Al-Masri but widely believed to also involve Abdulhakim Belhaj, becomes the fifth Libyan airline to service the Tripoli-Istanbul route which has an average of six flights a day in each direction. However, the introduction of visas for Turkey as of Thursday 24 September is expected to result in a dramatic drop in the number of Libyans going to Istanbul. Tunis is seen as becoming the main destination for Libyans heading abroad.
Libyans with Schengen visas planning to fly to Turkey after Thursday will be apply online for a one-month visa, but only for tourist purposes. Otherwise, they will have to apply in person at the sole Turkish consulate remaining in Libya, in Misrata, or at consulates in Tunisia or Egypt.
According to Turkish officials, most Libyans not still not aware of the visa changes. As a result very few have applied for visas so far. [/restrict]