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ITA Airways Makes Historic Flight to Libya After 10-Year Hiatus
In a historic development for Libyan aviation, ITA Airways, the state-owned flag carrier of Italy, successfully operated the first commercial flight between Rome and Libya on July 24, 2023. Libyan interim Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh was on board the Airbus A320 as it departed from Leonardo da Vinci airport in Fiumicino, Italy and landed at Tripoli’s Mitigate Airport.
The resumption of commercial flights between Italy and Libya marks a significant milestone for both nations. For Libya, it signifies the end of a ten-year hiatus in air travel between the two countries, which was originally imposed due to various challenges, including political instability and security concerns. The launch of regular flights is expected to commence in the fall, bringing renewed opportunities for connectivity and cooperation.
This development comes after Italy agreed to lift a decade-long ban on Libyan civil aviation using Italian airspace last week. The move reflects a growing confidence in the safety and security measures implemented by Libyan airports, paving the way for improved air travel between the two nations. The decision to allow Libyan carriers back into Italian airspace marks a turning point for the Libyan aviation scene, which has struggled to regain momentum since Muammar Gaddafi’s downfall in 2011.
Libyan sources have revealed that Prime Minister Dbeibeh was personally present on the inaugural flight, underscoring the significance of this milestone for Libya.
Addressing reporters upon arrival at the International Conference on Development and Migration in Rome, Prime Minister Dbeibeh expressed his enthusiasm for the restored air link between the two countries. He hailed the flight as “a step that paves the way for opening airspace with other countries,” indicating that this development could serve as a model for establishing similar air connections in the future. In light of this positive development, Prime Minister Dbeibeh also revealed plans to open an air route between Rome and Benghazi.
The resumption of flights between Italy and Libya is expected to have broader implications for the Libyan aviation industry. As travel restrictions are gradually lifted, the demand for air travel to and from Libya is likely to increase. This could lead to the expansion of routes, additional flight frequencies, and the entry of more airlines into the market, providing travelers with more choices and convenience.
Continued collaboration between Italy and Libya in this regard will be vital to ensuring the sustainable growth of the aviation sector and fostering a positive perception of Libya as a safe and attractive destination for international travelers. The inaugural flight represents a significant step forward in revitalizing Libya’s aviation industry while hoping that this milestone will serve as a catalyst for further developments, ushering in a new era of connectivity.
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