First Direct Flight from Athens to Benghazi Inaugurated


The first direct flight from Athens to Benghazi landed at the Benina International Airport on Thursday. This officially marks the resumption of flights between Libya and Greece since 2011.

Flight No. O8797 was carried out by Marathon Airlines, and other flights will follow every week, according to the Greek Foreign Ministry.

Two weekly flights on its 88-seat Embraer 175 aircraft are planned by Marathon Airlines.

“Promoting Greek activity in Benghazi – including Greece’s important contribution to the modernization of the port of Benghazi – will have tangible economic benefits,” the ministry said in a statement.

The ministry sees the new connection as a “precursor to Greece’s intention to deepen its presence in and cooperation with all of Libya, when the internal situation there allows for it.”

Earlier this month, the Consulate General of Greece in Benghazi announced that from Sunday 12 February 2023, Schengen visas for Greece will be handled through the Visa Application Center operated by VFS Global.

In a statement, the Consulate confirmed that electronic appointments must be made only through the website

It added that the website contains all the information on the application, required documents, fees, working days and hours, help center telephone number, and email. The information is in English, and will be in Arabic soon.

According to the statement, the address of VFS Global for Greece is Fouwaihet, Errahba, Benghazi. “On the day of the appointment, applicants must present themselves at the above-mentioned address having with them all the required original documents.”

The statement stressed that all visa submissions through VFS Global have to be done on an individual basis, by the applicant. It is prohibited to be done through any mediator, representative, relatives, or tourist agent.

It stated that the only exception is for parents with children under the legal age. “Any child under the legal age has to be present, with her/his parents, for the submission of the application.”

Last month, Greece’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs delivered a note verbale to the Libyan Embassy in Athens, refuting claims of ‘illegal’ actions by seismic research vessel Sanco Swift, according to Greece’s Ekathimerini newspaper.

In a statement, the Ministry said the maritime research, south of the Peloponnese and Southwest of Crete, “is carried out in regions of Greek jurisdiction, according to the rules of the international law of the sea. The coordinates of the regions where research is taking place are accessible to all interested parties, through relevant Navtex announcements.”

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs affirmed that Greece “welcomes the reference by the Libyan side to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).”

It reminded the Libyan side that “the two illegal and unfounded memorandums of understanding it signed with Turkey in November 2019, and October 2022 are blatantly violating key regulations of UNCLOS, that also reflect rules of customary international law.”