A Malta-based operator is in the process of setting up a new airline focusing on Libya, according to a report.
Medavia is applying for an Air Operator’s Certificate from the Libyan Civil Aviation Authority, paving the way for scheduled flights to begin in 2020, according to a report in Forbes.
“The overall idea is to offer more frequent, reliable services between the Libyan cities,” chief executive Rammah Ettir told Forbes during an interview. “The services that are being offered at the moment are not really good and the Libyan travellers deserve much better.”
Mr Ettir expects the AOC to be granted in the second half of this year. He is evaluating the Bombardier Dash-8 Q400 and the ATR 72 for Medlib’s fleet, both models that Medavia Technics, the company’s technical arm, is certified to conduct maintenance work on.
Medlib plans to initially focus on domestic connectivity, with flights operating from Tripoli to all the main cities in Libya. Its fleet will be based in Mitiga International Airport, the capital’s main gateway since Tripoli International Airport was destroyed by fighting in 2014.
Libya is currently served by two state-owned flag-carriers – Afriqiyah Airways and Libyan Airlines – as well as privately owned Libyan Wings and Buraq Air.
“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 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.