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Airlines operating to Libya adopt 'wait-and-see' policy

Airlines operating services to Libya are applying a 'wait-and-see' policy as they await further information about the ongoing civil unrest in the country, although London Gatwick Airport confirms that Afriqiyah Airways' flight from Tripoli is en route.

A Gatwick spokeswoman says the airport's air traffic controllers have been in touch with the crew of today's Tripoli-Gatwick flight, who have confirmed that it is scheduled to land shortly.

A spokesman for Egyptair, which serves both Tripoli and Benghazi in Libya, says the carrier is in the process of "collecting information" to put together its schedule for relief flights to and from Libya. He adds that a statement will be released once this information has been gathered.

The Egyptair spokesman was unable to confirm reports that aircraft are unable to land at Benghazi due to its runways having been destroyed in the violence that is gripping the country.

BMI, which only recently added Tripoli to its network, has cancelled today's flights between Tripoli and London Heathrow. The carrier says it "will be monitoring events and will issue a further update about its daily services between Heathrow and Tripoli when it has more information".

British Airways (BA), which also serves Tripoli from Heathrow, has cancelled today's flights and is also monitoring the situation. A BA spokesman says it has been "difficult getting information about what's going on" in Tripoli, adding: "Obviously we are keeping a close eye on the situation. We will make a decision on tomorrow's flight later today."

Emirates has cancelled its Tripoli flights, saying in a statement that "passengers will not be accepted for flights into Tripoli from any airport until further notice. Emirates will continue to monitor the situation in Tripoli".

In a notice on its website, Dutch carrier KLM says that "due to the current situation in Libya" its flight schedule to and from Tripoli "may be affected".

Neither Libyan Airlines nor Afriqiyah Airways could immediately be reached for comment.

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