After almost ten years, flights between Libya and Italy have resumed, signaling the reestablishment of air connections between the two nations. The European Union had imposed a ban in 2014, halting flights operated by Libyan airlines and restricting their access to member states’ airspace due to the intense fighting in Libya at the time. As a result, Libyan travelers had to navigate through alternative transit cities such as Tunis, Istanbul, or Cairo to reach European destinations by air.
However, on Saturday, Medsky Airways, a Libyan-based airline, operated a flight with twenty-five passengers on board, marking the revival of direct air travel between the African country and the Italian capital, Rome. This development is expected to significantly simplify travel for Libyan citizens, easing the challenges caused by the nearly decade-long interruption. The reopening of flights is part of a concerted effort by the Libyan government to have the European ban on Libyan civil aviation lifted, a goal that successive Libyan administrations have pursued.
Notably, Italy and Malta are currently the only European countries to have restored flights with the African country, making them vital partners in this renewed air connectivity. While the European ban remains in effect for other member states, the Italian government’s decision in early July to lift the ban on Libyan civil aviation using Italian airspace paved the way for this resumption of flights. At present, there has been no official comment from Rome regarding this significant development.