Libya’s prime minister, Abdul-Hamid Dbeibah, boarded a commercial flight from Fiumicino airport in Rome, to return to Tripoli on Monday. This is the first direct flight between both countries in a decade.
The flight landed in Mitiga, the only functioning airport in the Libyan capital.
The Libyan prime minister said Monday that Libyans would be able to book direct flights to Italy in September after the Italian government agreed earlier this month to lift a 10-year-long ban on civil aviation in the North African nation.
“Commercial flights for citizens will start in September, God willing. Of course, we still have a lot of work ahead of us. But there is no doubt that what we have achieved today will greatly help the issue of lifting the embargo,” hailed Abdul-Hamid Dbeibah.
Pierluigi Di Palma, President of the Italian Civil Aviation Authority, gave his opinion on the matter: “Next September I think that it will be possible to have Libyan flights to Italy. I think that today is an important day for us, and I think that today is an important day for you. I think that the Mediterranean Sea is the sea of peace.”
In Rome, Italian prime minister Giorgia Meloni’s office hailed the ITA flight as another tangible sign of the direction that the Italian government wants to impress in its relations with Libya and in its relations with the States of the broader Mediterranean region.
Both prime ministers are allies as they aim to curb the flow of migrants to Europe.
Libya is a dominant transit point for migrants from Africa and the Middle East trying to make it to the old continent.