Sebha International Airport Reopened by the Interim Government After 5 years of Closure Due to War – Al Marsad

Libya’s Interim Government, headed by Abdullah al-Thini, reopened on Friday the Sebha International Airport, declaring an end to one of the longest chapters of air travel suspension in the capital city of the Fezzan.

[Libya, 17 August 2019] – After a pause of nearly six years since January 2014, air travel has finally returned today to Sebha International Airport with the arrival of the first flight by Libyan Airlines from Benina Benghazi International Airport.

The Airbus A320 carried 93 passengers onboard and was flown by Captain Abdullah al-Tira and Captain Mohammed al-Haddad. It landed at Sebha International Airport in a festive atmosphere where it was sprayed with water in celebration.

Captain Abdullah al-Tira and Captain Mohammed al-Haddad

The spokesperson of the Interim Government Hatem Al-Oraibi told Al Marsad that the maiden flight was carrying Deputy Prime Minister for Governmental Entities Affairs, Abdulrahman Al-Ahairesh, a number of the Interim Government officials and members of the Libyan House of Representatives (HOR), most notably Ali Al-Saidi, and that they were received by the Mayor of Sebha Hamed Al-Khayali and a number of notables and leaders of the city.

Since January, the Interim Government and the Military Investment Authority have administered extensive maintenance and renovation works at Sebha International Airport, which was severely damaged by war over the past several years due to a number of factors including the presence of armed Chadian factions before the Libyan National Army (LNA) took control of the city.

Units of the LNA Armed Forces and forces of the Ministry of Interior of the Interim Government are currently in charge of securing the airport, and also to restore the nearby Tamanhent Airport to its former status as a military airport, with Sabha International Airport being designated for civilian usage.

In the meantime, Libyan Airline’s Airbus A320 returned from Sebha to Benghazi, carrying more than 90 passengers from the South. Residents hope that foreign flights from the airport will resume soon, especially to Tunisia.

© Al Marsad English. 2019.