Scary stories from a lovely place
In December when Stephen and I flew to the UK and Ireland to visit his family we left Johannesburg via Tripoli, Libya on an Afriqiyah Airways flight. It was the same flight that crashed early yesterday morning just shy of the runway at Tripoli airport. About 100 people died, while some crew and a 10 year old boy survived. The pictures are pretty horrific and look like something out of a bad disaster movie.
Our experience flying with Afriqiyah was good. It was really new and comfortable, the food was a bit weird, but good, and the movies were pretty b-grade, but again fine. The airport in Tripoli was something else. It was like stepping back in time to an airport 30 years ago. Gaudy paintings of Gadafi looked down on us from every wall. All the announcements were in arabic so we were pretty lost. From the plane the coastline of Libya looked spectacular.
I’m not going to speculate on why this happened, I don’t even care. I’m just sad about it. Obviously for all the people who knew someone on the plane. But also for Afriqiyah Airways and the Libyan economy. I know Libya has a sketchy past, but it’s one of the poorest countries in the world. When Stephen and I booked our tickets to go to London via Tripoli Afriqiyah Airways had just broadened their network to include Johannesburg and were clearly trying to expand like any good business should. I was impressed and keen to support them. Now they will probably not fly this far south again. And that is sad for Libya and it’s people.