By Sami Zaptia.
London, 6 October 2020:
In a positive signal on relations between western and eastern Libya, the Libyan Airports Authority (LAA) has enquired from Libyan carriers their readiness for the resumption of flights between west and east.
The news is reinforced by news coming out of eastern Libya for similar preparations.
The LAA said this comes in an effort to reduce the burden of travel on citizens by car between the two regions of the country.
This comes, however, on the back of an Afriqiyah flight being prevented from landing at Sebha airport by Khalifa Hafter-led Libyan National Army (LNA) forces on 30 September.
The LNA said the action had been taken based on security grounds. They had said that they were fearful that flights might transport ‘‘terrorists’’ to Sebha.
However, in view of the similar preparations for the resumption of flights by the eastern-based authorities, it must be assumed that a deal has been struck to resume flights and guarantee the safety and security of both passengers and planes.
Today’s announcement may also suggest that the refusal of landing permission for the Afriqiyah airliner flight to Sebha on 30 September may have been a leverage tool to extract the resumption of flights to the east from Tripoli.
Hafter’s LNA prevent Afriqiyah flight from Tripoli landing at Sebha airport on security grounds