Small Planet to fly Afriqiyah routes from Tripoli
European leisure carrier Small Planet Airlines has signed an agreement with Afriqiyah Airways, Libya's state-owned airline to launch regular flights from Tripoli International Airport (TIP) to airports in Western Europe.
Small Planet is to run daily flights from Tripoli to Düsseldorf (DUS, Germany), London Gatwick (LGW, UK) and Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG, France).
The two-month agreement has been signed with Afriqiyah Airways, and two Airbus A320s will be used for the flights (SP-HAD and SP-HAC).
“In the winter season, when European leisure travel is low, Small Planet Airlines seeks to operate some of its aircraft outside Europe. This winter, our aircraft carried passengers from Bhutan to Thailand, and now we have been chosen by Afriqiyah Airways to service their flights to Europe,” said Vytautas Kaikaris, CEO of Small Planet.
Before starting flights from Libya, Small Planet Airlines undertook thorough flight safety analysis and adequately prepared for flights by training and coaching its flight crews and enhancing airport and flight security measures. In-flight security officers will also be deployed on every flight.
Afterf the ban on Libyan aircraft by the UN during the civil war, Libyan-registered aircraft were expected to have been again permitted to enter EU airspace. This did not happen and Libyan-registered aircraft were placed on the European blacklist.
In order to get round the EU ban, Afriqiyah has wet-leased an A320 (ER-AXP) from Air Moldova, which complies with the EU requirements before signing the short-term agreement with Small Planet.