The aviation industry is one of the biggest and most important industries in the world. As air travel becomes more affordable, people are looking to travel: in 2015 alone, there were over 24 million general aviation flight hours logged. While increased business means increased profit, only nations that possess their own domestic airlines can benefit from the boom in traffic. Libya is hoping to become one such nation by the end of 2019.
Thanks to Mediterranean Aviation Company Ltd (Medavia), a charter operator and aircraft maintenance firm based in the southern European island of Malta, Libya is on track to offer domestic flights to its citizens and travelers.
“The overall idea is to offer more frequent, reliable services between the Libyan cities,” Medavia’s chief executive Rammah Ettir said. “The services that are being offered at the moment are not really good and the Libyan travelers deserve much better.”
Medavia Libya (provisionally named MedLib) is currently in the process of applying for an Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) from the Libyan Civil Aviation Authority. They expect the AOC to be granted later this year, and hope to begin scheduling flights in 2020. The ultimate goal, Ettir said, is to focus on domestic connectivity: flight routes will venture from Tripoli to “all the main cities” in Libya (such as Benghazi, Sebha, Mistrata, Zintan, etc.).
One of the biggest aspects of airline ownership is understanding the routine maintenance aircraft require; engineers monitor vibration, focus on fan balance and dynamic propeller balance, and are expected to know the ins and outs of high-end engines. Fortunately, it seems as though Medavia has already prepared for the inevitable maintenance for aircraft it will be experiencing: Medavia Technics is certified to conduct maintenance for aircraft on 11 different types of planes. Although the group was forced to move its maintenance base to Malta in 2014 after losing one of its planes in the assault on Tripoli International Airport, Medavia Technics is well prepared to handle the demands of an airline. All in all, Ettir is excited about the prospect of success.
“If we manage to succeed in the domestic [market, I’m] sure there will be a request to go for regional routes,” he said, identifying Malta, Djerba (Tunisia), and Alexandria and Luxor (Egypt) as possible targets.