By Sami Zaptia.
London, 23 October 2020:
The first commercial flight from Tripoli’s Mitiga airport arrived at Benghazi’s Benina airport this morning.
The flight follows on from the first actual flight of 16 October which transported a technical delegation from the relevant authorities to inspect Benina airport for its readiness to resume commercial flights.
The flights come after a hiatus of one-and-a-half years because of the building tensions and war on Tripoli between west and east. The maiden resumption flight of 16 October had received much social media speculation over the last few weeks. It was greeted with the fanfare of a maiden flight at Benina airport.
Local civilians in eastern Libya are desperate for the resumption of flights to ease travel, especially for medical tourism.
The flight reflects a thaw in political tension between western and eastern Libya and is part of the ‘‘confidence-building measures’’ of UNSMIL-mediated talks between the two rival Libyan sides.
It will be recalled that the manager of Benina airport had announced that his airport was in need of a long list of items that needed resolving before commercial flights could resume.