Libya’s Tripoli airport has reopened to most traffic following a 48 hour-closure due to armed fighting in the area. A Libyan Airlines (LN, Tripoli Mitiga) A330-200 5A-LAR (msn 1412) was damaged by shrapnel during the clashes, and is currently grounded.
The airport announced the closure on October 17 saying that “the airport was evacuated to protect the safety of passengers and employees after renewed clashes in its surroundings.” Further updates indicate that flights are operating to normal schedules for the time being.
News site El Balad reports that the Special Deterrent Force which protects the airport engaged with a group that tried to attack the airport, following the fatal shooting of an attempted drug smuggler.
Mitiga has frequently suspended operations over the past few years because of conflict. In July, the airport closed to traffic for two days after fighting breached the airport perimeter. All flights were diverted to Misurata airport. Flights were also delayed back in March 2016 for “safety and security reasons”.
Tripoli has been racked with violent skirmishes since 2011, as Libya’s two rival governments and a growing ISIS presence do battle for control of the country.
Airlines operating out of Tripoli Mitiga include: Libyan Airlines, Libyan Wings (YL, Tripoli Mitiga), Afriqiyah Airways (8U, Tripoli Mitiga), Rahila Air (RIH, Tripoli Mitiga), Buraq Air (UZ, Tripoli Mitiga), and Global Aviation (Libya) (5S, Tripoli Mitiga).