Afriqiyah Airways CEO resigns, blames Presidential Council for Mitiga Airport’s gun battle
The CEO of Afriqiyah Airways Abu Bakr Al-Forteya resigned Monday and blamed the Presidential Council for the clashes that rocked Mitiga Airport in Tripoli and the consequent deaths, injuries and damage.
The CEO’s resignation came in a phone call interview with a TV channel, where he said the attacking brigade that wrecked havoc in the airport was part of the Presidential Council’s Defense Ministry.
“The Presidential Council enabled a parallel legitimate executive department to surface on the scene.” He added, saying the Libyan judiciary ruled three times for his favor and adding that the PC’s executive department violated the methods used by the airliner regarding distributing planes to Libyan airports to avoid danger, citing Monday incident when “all planes came under fire.”
“Foreign Minister Mohammed Sayala and the PC are involved in corruption contract with Airbus worth 3.7 billion dollars and Afriqiya Airways under my watch was trying to stop this contract but those officials kept it going by enabling a parallel executive department, which did not move along regarding the deal.” Al-Forteya explained.
He added that Sayala disregarded the verdicts ruled for the airliner’s current executive department and prevented making them public, saying “Libya’s judiciary is corrupted.”
“We are now left with one airplane from the whole Afriqiyah Airways fleet as the others were hit by the clashes and the repairing works need a long time as we have to talk to the manufacturer company.” He said, adding that the PC and its parallel executive department for the airliner tried to bring all the Libyan planes from abroad but failed as Libya was checked unsafe by insurance companies.
The PC, he added, cannot secure the airliner’s staffers against any harm such as arrests and kidnap, saying three of the staffers were abducted and the last of whom was an employee heading to a meeting in Tunisia.
“They never appeared before court or any investigation bureau, and the reasons behind their arrest were not announced. The PC never replied to our questions regarding those employees.”
Afriqiyah Airways suspended all flights from Mitiga and Misrata airports on Monday following the damage that hit most of its planes during the clashes in Mitiga airport.