NEWS
23/01/2012 05:35 GMT | Updated 02/09/2014 12:59 BST

British Airways To Resume Flights To Libya

British Airways is to resume flights to Libya in May, the airline announced, 15 months after they were suspended as the country descended into bloodshed.

The decision to reinstate three services a week to the capital, Tripoli, followed a "thorough security review" involving the government and the new Libyan authorities, it said.

The flights are already available to be booked on the airline's website, from around £500 return.

It is currently only possible to fly to Tripoli from London via other cities, including Rome in Italy and Benghazi in Libya.

BA chief executive Keith Williams said: "We are delighted to be returning to Libya.

"Our flights to Tripoli have provided a vital economic link for many years, and it is good news for everyone that we can now restart operations."

The airline operated daily flights to and from Tripoli until February 2011, when an uprising began against Muammar Gaddafi's regime.

The airline said that flights from Heathrow would depart from Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, and said it would keep the frequency of services under review.

In a separate announcement Qatar Airlines said it was resuming flights between Doha and Tripoli on Monday.

BMI, which is subject to a takeover bid by British Airways and previously offered flights to Tripoli, said only that it would keep its services under review.

"As the situation in Libya is constantly changing, we continue to monitor events and work closely with the relevant authorities. Safety remains our number one priority," BMI said in a statement to the Huffington Post UK.

The news came two days after protesters reportedly stormed the ruling National Transition Council offices in the former rebel stronghold of Benghazi, throwing home-made grenades and setting the building on fire in the first violent action against the NTC since the uprising ended last year.