By Andy Sambidge
Abu Dhabi carrier says it expects strong demand on route following regime change
Etihad Airways said on Wednesday that it will begin flying to Tripoli on January 17.
The three return flights a week will be operated by an Airbus A320 with 162 seats and the Libyan capital becomes the fifth city in North Africa to which the airline flies.
James Hogan, CEO of Etihad Airways, said the schedule would provide convenient timings for Abu Dhabi and UAE-based passengers and allow fast and seamless connections across Etihad's broader GCC network.
Hogan said the regime change in Tripoli meant there would be significant point to point traffic and strong demand for flights to the country as it rebuilds after the civil war.
"We are delighted to be able to launch these flights do all we can to help the country get back on its feet at this critical point in Libya's history," Hogan added.
Initially the flights will operate via Alexandria in Egypt but Etihad Airways will move to non-stop services as soon as the infrastructure in Tripoli can support them.
Earlier this month, Royal Jordanian said it would resume flights to Tripoli on November 24.
The airline is flying five times a week to Tripoli, said RJ president and CEO Hussein Dabbas in a statement.
He added that the company's decision to restart operations to Tripoli comes two months after its resumption of flights to Benghazi.