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Malta’s Medavia unveils plans for domestic Libyan airline

The Address | Benghazi – Libya

VALLETTA – Mediterranean Aviation Company Ltd (Medavia), Malta-based operator, is in the process of setting up a new domestic airline in Libya, Forbes reported.

Medavia is applying for an Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) from the Libyan Civil Aviation Authority, paving the way for scheduled flights to begin in 2020.

“The overall idea is to offer more frequent, reliable services between the Libyan cities,” chief executive Rammah Ettir told Forbes during an interview at the company’s headquarters in Malta. “The services that are being offered at the moment are not really good and the Libyan travelers deserve much better.”

The new airline, which is provisionally named Medlib, or Medavia Libya, initially focuses on domestic connectivity, with flights operating from Tripoli to “all the main cities” in Libya including Benghazi, Sabha, Misurata, Zintan, Al Abraq, Kufra, Ghat and Tobruk.

Its fleet will be based in Mitiga International Airport – the capital’s main gateway since Tripoli International Airport was destroyed by fighting in 2014 – though Ettir does not rule out stationing some aircraft in Benghazi.

“We are seeing an improvement in the Libyan situation … Benghazi and Tobruk and Al Abraq in the east of Libya are very safe,” Ettir said. “In actual fact, almost 75% of the country is now okay … I see things are getting better.”

“If we manage to succeed in the domestic [market, I’m] sure there will be a request to go for regional routes,” Ettir said, identifying Malta, Djerba (Tunisia), and Alexandria and Luxor (Egypt) as possible targets.

Medavia operates five flights per week from Malta to Mitiga Airport with its own fleet, deploying a 19-seat Beech 1900 and a 37-seat Dash-8 100.

All of Libya’s airlines have been banned from flying to the European Union since 2012 owing to perceived shortcomings in regulatory oversight in the war-torn country.

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