Tripoli International Airport

Libya’s main airport is Tripoli International, located about 20 miles from the center of the city in Ben Ghashir township. In June 2012 the airport was briefly closed due to its seizure by a rebel group, with security upgrades following the attack. The complex has a single terminal capable of handling three million passengers annually and serving both domestic and international arrivals and departures. Plans to upgrade and expand the airport were put on hold during the civil war and have not yet been resumed.

Many of the pre-war flights are now re-established, although there are no direct flights to USA cities as of yet. Travelers from North America will need to connect through a major European or North African hub such as London Heathrow, Istanbul or Frankfurt. Visitors from the UK are better served, with British Airways flying from Heathrow and national flagship carrier Libyan Airways offering flights to Heathrow or Manchester. Other European airlines include Alitalia from Rome, Lufthansa from Frankfurt, Austrian Airlines from Vienna, and Turkish Airlines from Istanbul.

The single terminal offers most of the usual passenger amenities, including ATMs, currency exchange, a restaurant, coffee shops, a range of duty-free stores, parking, a business lounge, Wi-Fi internet access, and car rental facilities. Staff are polite and helpful. Ground transportation is by hotel shuttle or taxi, with cabs from the airport more expensive than taxis around the city.

Benina International Airport, Benghazi

The second-largest of Libya’s airports, Benina International is located 12 miles from Benghazi in Benina town. Eight of the carriers have re-established flights, although the destinations served are North African, Middle Eastern and domestic. Libyan Airlines offers routes to Tripoli, Misrata and Sebha, while Turkish Airlines flies to Istanbul. Given the size of the country and the present state of ground transportation, flights between cities are the best way to get around if your sightseeing time is limited. Several of the country’s domestic airports have resumed services, with Ghat serving Libyan Airlines flights from Tripoli and Sabha, and Misrata offering a flight to Beghazi.