[News] July 25, 2023, 4:20 am ET. By Victor Shalton.
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.
An ITA Airways Airbus A320 with the new livery at Leonardo Da Vinci International Airport. (Photo: ITA Airways)
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…