According to the information posted on Twitter by the Italian embassy in Libya yesterday, a delegation from Rome had been received by Minister of State Walid Al Lafi from Libya’s Government of National Unity, as well as Libyan Civil Aviation Authority President Mohamed Shlebik, and discussions regarding the relaunching of the direct air service between Italy and the North African country took place.
Italian diplomats have said that after the lifting of Libya flight ban imposed a decade ago amid the chaos that followed the toppling of the leader, Muammar Gaddafi, and NATO’s intervention, direct flights between two countries are expected to resume this fall.
According to the information from Italy’s Embassy in Tripoli, Libyan and Italian officials discussed the “restart of direct flights,” with the “close Italian-Libyan partnership on civil aviation” being confirmed.
Libya’s Prime Minister Abdul Hamid al-Dbeibeh said the Italian government had “informed us of its decision to lift its air ban imposed on Libyan civil aviation 10 years ago,” adding that the first direct flights are expected in September.
The official thanked his Italian counterpart, Giorgia Meloni, hailing the decision as a “breakthrough.”
According to some Italian media reports, the Libyan authorities had provided their Italian colleagues with data on infrastructure and air traffic control adjustments at local airports in recent months.
Flights out of Libya have long been limited to destinations such as Tunisia, Jordan, Turkey, Egypt, and Sudan, with the EU banning Libyan civil aviation from its airspace.
In 2011, the UN Security Council approved a proposal by the US to create a no-fly zone over Libya on ostensibly humanitarian grounds, amid the conflict between rebels and government forces under Gaddafi.
At present, the country is divided between the internationally recognized Government of National Unity and the forces of General Khalifa Haftar, who established his capital in the eastern city of Tobruk.