Libya: Air traffic resumes with direct flights to Turkey

The UN-backed Government of National Accord, GNA, Sunday reopened its sky for international air traffic with first flights bound for Turkey.

Libyan Wings Airlines took off to Turkey, the first ever international flight after four months of hiatus owing to the covid-19 pandemic, reports Anadolu news agency, citing Misrata International Airport authorities.

The second scheduled flight is set to be an Afriqiyah Airways flight, the Turkish news agency adds.

Misrata International airport is located some 187 kilometers (116 miles) east of capital Tripoli. The city of Misrata is under the control of the GNA.

The GNA, as part of efforts to curb the spread of the pandemic, shut down its land and air borders in March. The Tripoli-based weak government has reported 669 cases including 60 deaths and 553 recoveries.

Turkey has become a major player in Libya and main international supporter of the GNA. The two sides signed in November a security and maritime agreement that enabled Ankara to provide military backing to the GNA in its efforts to keep at bay its rival administration located in the east and led by field marshal Khalifa Haftar.

The military support, made of logistics and fighters mostly Syrian mercenaries, has been decisive in repelling Haftar’s push to overrun Tripoli.

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