Morocco suspends air services to and from Libya

17 February 2015 (Last Updated February 17th, 2015 04:46)

Morocco has suspended flights to Libya and closed its airspace for Libyan aircraft, citing security concerns a day after Egypt bombed the strife-stricken country.

Air Libya

Morocco has suspended flights to Libya and closed its airspace for Libyan aircraft, citing security concerns a day after Egypt bombed the strife-stricken country.

Reuters has quoted a statement from the Moroccan Government as saying: "The temporary suspension was dictated by the nonconformity of the flights departing from Libyan airports to the international standards."

The statement did not make any mention of Egypt's air strikes on Libya.

Egypt resorted to air attacks on Islamic State militia in Libya on Monday in retaliation to the beheading of 21 Egyptian Christians.

Morocco's announcement coincides with UAE-based aircraft lessor Aerovista's decision to withdraw its fleet being operated by Air Libya.

"For us, and I'm sure for all other airlines, the safety of our team and passengers is the most important thing."

Civil disturbances in Libya since the fall of dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 have taken their toll on air services in the country.

Libyan state airline Afriqiyah Airways has closed its commercial services to Europe earlier this month, after Aerovista's Georgia-based subsidiary Vista Georgia decided to walk out of the alliance.

Aerovista was operating two Airbus A320s through Afriqiyah Airways, and a Boeing 737-300 and 500 through Air Libya.

Air Transport World has previously quoted an Aerovista spokeswoman as saying: "For us, and I'm sure for all other airlines, the safety of our team and passengers is the most important thing.

"If the situation stabilises, we're open to returning."

Private carrier al-Buraq Airlines has suspended its services after terrorist attack on a hotel in Tripoli in January, and is yet to resume its operations.

Morocco's Royal Air Maroc has withdrawn its services from Libya after the attack on Tripoli airport last year. However, Libyan carriers have been continuing their services between the two countries.


Image: A B737-300 leased by Aerovista to Air Libya. Photo: courtesy of Aerovista.