British Airways is to once again fly to Libya after it suspended services last February when the country descended into civil war. The decision has been made despite the fact that the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office remains adamant that all but the most essential travel to the country be avoided.
Since the fighting ended in October, a flight ban over the North African country has been lifted by NATO. BA will now join a number of other European airlines which have decided that it is once again safe to carry passengers to Tripoli. Alitalia has already resumed services, and Air France said that it will begin to fly to the capital once again on 27 March.
Keith Williams, chief executive of BA, said that he was extremely pleased to be able to announce that services were to resume. He added that the airline was proud of its history of providing a vital economic link to the country. BA has been examining the security risks in Libya since the cessation of hostilities.
When war broke out, tour companies were forced to cancel bookings to the region. Operators such as Abercrombie and Kent, Exodus and Responsible Travel had previously offered travellers the opportunity of exploring the country including its many ancient ruins.
Responsible Travel said that it was unlikely that operations would return to normal in Libya until the FCO changed its advice on visiting the country. BA said that it would be operating three services to Tripoli every week.