After a decade-long ban, Italy has officially lifted the restriction on Libyan planes using its airspace. This significant development comes as a ray of hope for Libya, a nation that has been marred by instability and conflict since the fall of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. The decision to resume flights was announced following a meeting between Libyan and Italian officials over the weekend, with both sides acknowledging the progress made in ensuring safety procedures at Libyan airports.
For the past ten years, flights in and out of Libya have been severely limited, with only a handful of destinations, including Tunisia, Jordan, Turkey, Egypt, and Sudan, accessible. Additionally, the European Union had imposed a ban on Libyan planes from its airspace. These restrictions had hindered the country’s air travel capabilities and its reintegration into the global aviation network.
Lifting the Ban
The Libyan government released a statement on July 9, confirming that Italy had lifted the decade-long ban on Libyan civil aviation using Italian airspace, Formiche portal reports. Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni conveyed this decision to her Libyan counterpart, Abdulhamid al-Dbeibah. The resumption of flights is scheduled to begin in September, allowing both countries to reestablish direct air links after a prolonged hiatus.
Prior to lifting the ban, technical teams from both sides conducted a comprehensive field visit in May to assess and ensure the implementation of stringent safety procedures at Libyan airports. The positive outcome of these discussions and assessments led to the agreement to resume flights. The cooperation between Libyan and Italian authorities highlights their commitment to prioritizing safety and security in the aviation sector.
In order to facilitate the resumption of flights, Libyan and Italian authorities have agreed that flights will be operated by a single carrier from each country. The specifics regarding the airlines involved and the flight routes are yet to be disclosed, but this decision marks a significant step toward reestablishing air travel links between Libya and Italy.