Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

Libya: Flights Resume Between Tripoli, Benghazi

Libya: Flights Resume Between Tripoli, Benghazi

Saturday, 17 October, 2020 - 07:30
The Afriqiyah Airways plane before departing from Mitiga Airport in Tripoli to Benina Airport in Benghazi on Friday, October 16, 2020 (Mitiga Airport)

An Afriqiyah Airways plane arrived on Friday morning at Benina International Airport departing from Mitiga International Airport, on the first scheduled flight from Tripoli to Benghazi in almost two years.

Libyans have expressed hope that the rest of the arrangements be made between rival parties to eliminate the effects of war on Tripoli and “demolish the wall of hatred" built by conflict.

The flight was seen by many as a dove carrying messages of peace and highlighting the time to turn the page of a 13-month war that left thousands dead and wounded and inflicted damage to the capital's infrastructure.

The flight carried a delegation from the Libyan Civil Aviation Authority, the Libyan Airports Authority, and Afriqiyah airlines itself, Benina airport said.

It noted that parties headed to Tripoli to discuss the operation of internal and external flights, maintenance procedures, as well as the precautionary measures that shall be taken by the two airports.

Libyan political figures and MPs expressed joy and described the step as a “beginning to reunite the war-torn social fabric.”

Head of the Libyan Media Foundation said Friday’s flight is the beginning for upcoming regular flights among all Libyan airports.

"Wars are not an option, division is not a destiny, and compassion, mercy, communication, cohesion, friendship, and love are Libyan people’s destiny and choice," he stressed.

He also hailed the role played by Head of the Presidential Council Fayez al-Sarraj and his deputy Ahmed Maiteeq, as well as civilian and military officials in Benghazi and the efforts to make this step a success.

Meanwhile, an economic expert described the resumption of aviation between Benghazi and Tripoli as a “joyful and major step,” expressing hope that all Libyans again communicate and reunite.

The domestic air traffic between eastern and western Libya was halted in light of the war launched by Commander in Chief of Libya’s National Army Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar on Tripoli on April 4, 2019.

The war launched between western and eastern Libya was accompanied by hate speech and escalation of the hostile rhetoric in the Libyan political and social circles.

Rival parties accused each other of betrayal due to differing positions on the military operation.

Editor Picks