Libya reopens airspace after two-week shutdown

Map of Libya. CGTN

Libyan authorities reopened the war-torn country’s skies for domestic flights on Tuesday, an aviation official said, two weeks after they were grounded amid a tense political standoff.

“Air traffic resumes today and the domestic airspace is open between Mitiga (the main airport in the western capital Tripoli) and airports in eastern and southern Libya,” a source from Mitiga’s security directorate told AFP.

Flights between Mitiga and other Libyan airports had been suspended since March 7, after the country’s eastern-based parliament appointed a rival government in a challenge to unity premier Abdulhamid Dbeibah.

Dbeibah has refused to cede power except to an elected administration, and the ensuing standoff has sparked fears of renewed fighting after a year and a half of relative calm.

No official reason was given for the grounding of flights, but Bashagha has accused Dbeibah’s administration of seeking to prevent MPs in the new administration from reaching Tripoli.

The United Nations and Western officials had called repeatedly for the airspace to be reopened.