Thursday, February 24, 2011

Qatar Airways suspends Tripoli flights as uprising spreads

Qatar Airways has suspended scheduled flights to Tripoli as civil unrest continues to engulf the North African state, it said Thursday.
“Due to the political unrest in Libya, Qatar Airways’ flights to and from the Libyan capital Tripoli have been suspended until further notice,” the Doha-based airline said in a statement.
Dubai’s Emirates Airline, Royal Jordanian, British Airways and others suspended flights to the capital city Tripoli with immediate effect on Tuesday.
Emirates, one of the Arab world's largest carriers, also flies to the Libyan city of Benghazi, but has not confirmed whether flights will continue.
Governments around the world have rushed to send planes and ships to evacuate their citizens after Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi vowed to crush a revolt against his 41-year rule.
Turkey, with 25,000 citizens in Libya, is mounting the biggest evacuation operation in its history, and 21 other governments have asked Ankara for help getting their nationals out, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told a news conference.
European Union states are evacuating some 10,000 EU citizens from Libya, a spokesman for the EU executive said during a European Commission news briefing.
The US State Department said a chartered ferry with room for about 600 passengers was due to leave Tripoli for Malta.
Witnesses described scenes of chaos and panic as foreigners tried to escape the violence. Italy said estimates that 1,000 people had been killed in the uprising were credible.