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Libya’s political split deepens Afriqiyah Airways’ crisis: spox

Aviation in Libya has become an unsteady affair since the 2011 uprising due to several reasons.

A spokesperson for Afriqiyah Airways, Abdel Salam Al-Shahoumi, said the government split has made the situation inside the company deteriorate to the point of inner division, where part of the company’s staff works in its headquarters in Janzour and another part works in the company’s headquarters in Al-Nasr Street in the capital Tripoli.

Al-Shahoumi told 218 News on Thursday that decisions made by successive governments, notably by the Government of National Accord (GNA), specifically since 2016, have deepened the division within the company.

He also referred to the external interference in the company’s work, as well as the transfer of funds and assets belonging to the company by some officials and security leaders belonging to the Ministry of Interior in the GNA.

Libya is currently served by two state-owned flag-carriers – Afriqiyah Airways and Libyan Airlines – as well as privately owned Libyan Wings and Buraq Air.

Libyan travelers should be able to fly with a new domestic airline next year thanks to Mediterranean Aviation Company Ltd (Medavia), a charter operator and aircraft maintenance firm based in the southern European island of Malta.

Provisionally named Medlib, or Medavia Libya, the new airline is in the process of applying for an Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) from the Libyan Civil Aviation Authority.

Medlib plans to initially focus on domestic connectivity, with flights operating from Tripoli to “all the main cities” in Libya including Benghazi, Sebha, Misrata, Zintan, Labraq, Kufra, Ghat and Tobruk. Its fleet will be based in Mitiga International Airport – the capital’s main gateway since Tripoli International Airport was destroyed by fighting in 2014.

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