Malta`s Medavia unveils plans for Domestic Libyan Airlines
In a move to service the domestic Libyan air transport, the Libyan foreign investment company ( LAFICO) through its aviation arm Medavia a company LAFICO owns in Malta , Mediterranean aviation company ltd, is planning to launch a domestic airline dedicated to link the main Libyan cities by a reliable network that will help in bringing the war torn country together, Mediterranean aviation company Ltd Medavia is in the process of launching a new airline in Libya, Rammah Ettir, Medavia’s managing director had released the news to Martin Rivers in an interview published in Forbes, https://www.forbes.com/sites/martinrivers/2019/02/08/maltas-medavia-unveils-plans-for-domestic-libyan-airline/#78bbdb311fc3,
Provisionally named Medlib, or Medavia Libya, the new airline is in the process of applying for an Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) from the Libyan Civil Aviation Authority.
“The overall idea is to offer more frequent, reliable services between the Libyan cities,” chief executive Rammah Ettir told Martin Rivers 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.”
It is expected that he AOC is to be granted by the Libyan civil aviation authority in the second half of this year, paving the way for scheduled flights to begin in 2020 with three leased turboprops. the Bombardier Dash-8 Q400 and the ATR 72 are being evaluated for Medlib’s fleet both models that Medavia Technics, the company’s technical arm, is certified to conduct maintenance work on.
“We are still in the process of the network planning and studying which aircraft – the Q400 or the ATR 72 – will be the best option,” the chief executive confirmed.
Medlib plans to initially focus on domestic connectivity, with flights operating from Tripoli to “all the main cities” in Libya including Benghazi, Sebha, Misrata, Zintan, Ghadames, Jufra, Labraq, 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.
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. However, if Medlib launches flights to Malta it should be able to circumvent the ban by using the AOC of its sister carrier, Medavia Aviation Operations Ltd (Medops), which currently provides charter and contract flying services from its base in Malta.
Medops already 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. That route, operated as a charter service for Maltese travel companies, is the only regular air link between Libya and the European Union.
“We are seeing an improvement in the Libyan situation … Benghazi and Tobruk and Labraq 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.”
Ettir admitted in the interview that obtaining insurance for the turboprops will be “the biggest issue” Medlib needs to overcome, however, he believes security is improving in the country as its two rival governments tentatively step up cooperation.
Medavia Technics is certified to conduct maintenance work on 11 aircraft types and currently has line stations in Mitiga, Tunis, Accra (Ghana) and Juba (South Sudan).