Libya negotiates with EU to lift ban on airlines

Source: Xinhua| 2018-05-07 09:35:51|Editor: Chengcheng
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TRIPOLI, May 7 (Xinhua) -- Libyan authorities are negotiating with the European Union (EU) to lift the ban imposed on Libyan airplanes for nearly four years, which has caused major financial losses to Libyan airlines, Libyan minister of transport told Xinhua Sunday.

"A high-level delegation visited Brussels in the past few days and met with the European Aviation Safety Agency, and discussed the possibility of lifting the ban on national airlines that has been imposed for years," said Libyan Minister of Transport Milad Ma'tug.

"We have made it clear to them that Libyan airports adhere to safety rules by committing to international safety standards, and that these rules are of great interest to the (Libyan) civil aviation authority," added Ma'tug.

He also revealed that the agency has "promised to send inspectors to Libya to inspect the airports and see the level of technical readiness in terms of safety and security rules."

"We expect their visit this summer and the final report of the European Agency will be presented during its meeting in November," he said.

The EU has imposed a ban on all Libyan airlines in European airspace since 2014 over safety concerns, after violent clashes erupted in the Libyan capital Tripoli between rival armed groups, which almost destroyed the city's international airport.

M'etiga airport, which is located inside an air base, is currently the only functioning airport in the city. However, it also has been attacked by armed group several times recently, causing repeated suspension of flights.