The decision this week to prevent Lufthansa and its subsidiary, Austrian Airlines, from landing at Tripoli airport had all the signs of a temper tantrum on the part of the Libyan authorities.
The German airline had suspended flights to Libya for security reasons, in a move that apparently caused some offence, and when they announced the resumption of service they were told, for no apparent reason, that they must wait a few more days.
Capricious behaviour like this inconveniences not just the airline, but also all the passengers who depend on it, many of whom are travelling to or from Libya for the purpose of doing business with the country and making it a better place.
As a result of the uncertainty, several delegates pulled out of the Austrian trade mission to Tripoli; we can never know what deals might have been done had the full delegation been able to travel.
There is an old saying in business that "you never win a fight with a customer." As Libyan commerce becomes freer and more open, that old adage becomes even truer -- public servants and others would do well to keep that in mind.