Libya and Austria have discussed the possibility of opening airspace, and resuming air traffic between the two countries. In a meeting between the Libyan Ambassador to Austria, Osama Abdulhadi and an Austrian delegation led by the General Manager of Vienna International Airport, the parties discussed operating three flights per week.
The meeting marks a significant step forward for Libya’s efforts to rebuild its international relations, and reconnect with the global community. The reopening of air traffic between Libya and Austria would facilitate the movement of people and goods between the two countries, which could lead to the strengthening of economic and trade links.
The discussions focused on the necessary measures to ensure the safety and security of air travel between the two countries. Both parties emphasized the importance of adhering to international standards and regulations governing aviation safety and security.
In February, the Austrian Ambassador to Libya, Christoph Meyenburg said that the security situation in Libya “remains unstable at the present time for the return of Austrian oil companies to operate in the country.”
In press statements, Meyenburg highlighted Austrian diplomacy’s “great contributions to clearing the air between the Libyan parties through constructive dialogue.”
Regarding the reopening of the Austrian Embassy in Tripoli, the Ambassador stated that “a specific date has not yet been set for the reopening of the Embassy,” adding that diplomatic staff were temporarily moved to Tunisia.
Notably, Libya lost a legal dispute with an Austrian construction company, worth more than €100 million euros, according to a report by the international legal platform Global Legal Chronicle.
The American law firm Latham & Watkins managed to obtain a court ruling in favour of Austrian company STRABAG SE (Strabag). Libya has been ordered to pay Strabag over €100 million in compensation, costs, and interest.
Strabag had invested in, and operated, a Libyan company called “Al Hani” which was performing major road and infrastructure works, when the civil war in Libya broke out. Al Hani’s sites suffered theft and damage from numerous forces. After the war, efforts to claim the outstanding payments, and for force majeure losses were consistently stymied by various state authorities.