Charter Company returns to Libya for Evacuations
Air Charter Service has reported that last week it began evacuation charter flights from troubled Libya as a result of the worsening security situation in the North African country, reminiscent of the situation three years ago
Fighting in Tripoli and Benghazi is the worst since the Arab Spring of 2011 and the Libyan civil war that ended Muammar Gaddafi's rule of the country. With increasing international worries that Libya is becoming a failed state, many expatriates are being evacuated for their own safety, whether by homeland governments or by companies for their employees.
Air Charter Service has recently become involved as CEO, Justin Bowman, explains: “We are chartering a variety of aircraft to help fly expats from the country and, with the violence centred around the cities of Tripoli and Benghazi and their airports, we have used smaller airports – Misrata is around 100 kilometres east of Tripoli and Al Abraq is the same distance east of Benghazi. In 2011 we flew almost 15,000 people out of Libya - and Tunisia where some had fled to - so we are well versed in what it takes to run successful mass evacuations.
“So far we have flown the evacuees into Istanbul and Dubai, using MD83 and B737 aircraft, but have further aircraft chartered over the weekend. We have received more requests and are keeping on top of all security factors such as which airports are open and safe to fly from as well as airspace restrictions.”
So far the company has almost one thousand people either evacuated or booked onto their charter flights with more expected to follow.
Bowman concluded: “We are currently also receiving requests for evacuation charters from Western Africa to escape the Ebola virus outbreak in the region.”
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About Air Charter Service
• Formed in 1990 by Chairman Chris Leach in his basement, now employs more than 280 staff worldwide
• We are a global company with 18 worldwide offices, not ‘UK-based’, with offices spanning five continents offering private jet, commercial airliner and cargo aircraft charters
• Revenue in excess of US$ 400 million and arranges almost 7,500 charters annually
• Total number of passengers flown in 2013: 231,502
• Total amount of cargo flown in 2013: 31,172,000kgs
• Voted Cargo Charter Broker of the Year at the ACW World Cargo Awards 2013, voted Charter Broker of the Year at the Payload Asia Awards 2013 and awarded Charter Broker of the Year 2014 by Air Cargo News