Turkish Airlines Returns to Libya After 10-year Break – Airways | Airlines

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DALLAS — Turkish Airlines (TK) launched its first flight back to Libya’s capital, Tripoli, on Thursday after not flying there for ten years.

The Istanbul-based carrier announced in a press release that it would operate flights to the North African nation three times a week, departing on Thursdays, Tuesdays, and Sundays. These flights should now allow Libyan travelers the ability to connect to one of Turkish Airlines’ 346 destinations, something previously unavailable for the country.

The flights had previously been suspended in 2015 due to security concerns. At the time, Libya had just begun its second Civil war, lasting until 2020. Such instability followed after the overthrow of the country’s longest-serving leader, Muammar Gadaffi, in 2011, leaving the country struggling to regrow fully since.

Currently, the flights between the two capital cities are only planned to last between March 28 and May 3. However, this does have the possibility of being extended for the peak summer months, depending on demand.

The Inaugural Flight on March 28th was operated using a Boeing 737-800. Photo: Fabrizio Spicuglia/Airways

Comments from Turkish Airlines CEO

The carrier’s CEO, Bilal Ekşi, stated at the Libyan capital’s Mitiga International Airport that Turkish Airlines “feel[s] the excitement of connecting continents, this time in Tripoli, the capital of Libya. We are delighted to start flights again to Libya, where we have historical ties. We will continue to bring cultures together in Africa, as in many continents.”

The last time we heard about the airline’s network expansion, the Star Alliance member began flights between Melbourne and Istanbul. On March 1, the inaugural flight TK168 to Melbourne (MEL) from Istanbul Airport (IST) took off with 349 passengers, including Turkish Airlines Chairman of the Board and the Executive Committee Prof. Dr. Ahmet Bolat and a contingent of journalists.

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