Afriqiyah forced to suspend Maltese unit plans
Afriqiyah Airways' plans to use its Maltese subsidiary, PanAfriqiyah to operate European flights for and on behalf of the Libyan carrier have been put on hold, reports ch-aviation.
Libya's carriers are currently banned from European Union airspace after the bloc said it had serious concerns about the safety oversight of Libyan-licensed airlines. Afriqiyah Airways has experimented with wet-lease agreements with European operators such as Lithuania's Small Planet Airlines and Ireland's Air Contractors to circumvent the ban in recent years.
According to the report, PanAfriqiyah, which was established in 2015 and is headed by former Air Malta CEO and Lufthansa Technik boss, Louis Giordimaina, and Nicole Frei, a former executive at CityJet failed to secure a Maltese Air Operator's Certificate (AOC). A spokesman for the Maltese Civil Aviation Department later confirmed that PanAfriqiyah did not meet eligibility criteria for the issuance of an EU-based license.
Afriqiyah's chairman and chief executive officer, Abubaker Elfortia said: “We will be leasing. If the situation in Libya stays the same way as it is now, and we still have the two aircraft registered outside with Small Planet, we could start with them.”