This urgent report was published earlier today on the website of the Syrian Arabic-language biweekly magazine al-Iqtisadi. Here is a rush English translation of it.
Urgent: Syrian expats donate to lease planes to transport Syrians from Libya
Right after Al Iqtisadi website published the report regarding the delay in evacuating Syrians stranded in Tripoli Airport, after having received several calls from their relatives, and in view of the unfavorable circumstances in the airport of the people stranded there, whose number reached 5000, including elderly, women and children, in addition to the steep rise in ticket prices, a group of Syrian expatriates decided to mobilize to help the community through contacts and coordination with other airline companies including the Syrian Cham Wings Airlines to donate money to purchase tickets for those stranded, in order to transport them as soon as possible.
In a call with Al Iqtisadi website, a Syrian expatriate lady said: "Syrian TV reported yesterday that four Syrian planes are being operated daily to evacuate those stranded in Tripoli Airport. We were able with difficulty to call one of those Syrians stranded in Tripoli Airport. He told us the number of Syrians there is more than 2000, and only one plane has arrived in the morning. They treated the passengers very badly and resorted to extortion, raising the price of the ticket to $1500 USD per passenger"
The Syrian expat added: "We contacted the Amman Air Services company and they welcomed our initiative and made contacts with other airlines to get good prices. But surprisingly and unfortunately, Damascus International Airport had given permission only to Syrian airlines arriving from Libya to land using its runways. Dealing with this issue is a very long routine process, and despite this we attempted to call some officials but did not get a response. Therefore, we are trying now to work with the Jordanian company that I mentioned to operate flights from Tripoli to Amman, from where passengers would then travel to Syria by bus".
The Syrian expatriate also said they will wait today to verify the arrival of the ships that were sent from Syria to Libya, and if that did not happen, they will operate planes from the Jordanian company to transport all the Syrians stranded there.