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Libya: Hike in Airline Ticket Prices Raises Concerns

Libya: Hike in Airline Ticket Prices Raises Concerns

Sunday, 25 November, 2018 - 14:00
A plane is seen at Mitiga airport in Tripoli, Libya, January 15, 2018. REUTERS/Ismail Zitouny
Cairo- Jamal Jawhar

The decision of the Libyan Airlines and Afriqiyah Airways to raise the prices of flight tickets starting December has caused a hustle in local markets and has increased economists’ concerns of possibility to introduce changes in the pricing of commodities and services in the country.

The Presidential Council imposed fees on dollar purchase transactions (183%) as part of what it described as economic reforms.

Libyan Airlines said that the increased prices are prompted by the fact that the company has not been exempted by the Central Bank of Libya from the fees on dollar purchase. The company added, in a statement published on Friday, that the operation needs hard currency for the sake of purchasing spare-parts, fuels and for regular maintenance abroad as well as training the staff: pilots, hosts, and engineers.

CEO of the Libyan Airlines Khalid al-Tinaz expressed surprise from protesting over the increase of tickets’ prices instead of objecting over the decision issued by the central bank.

In the meantime, Libyan African Aviation Holding Company called on the two airliners to halt the rise and hold talks with the authorities as well as the Central Bank of Libya.

Libyan economists Sulaiman Shahoumi said that this raise was expected but he saw that it might introduce changes in the prices’ structure of certain commodities and services. He posted on his Facebook account that there are talks about transforming the fuel subsidies into direct support to citizens.

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