New Zealanders wishing to get out of violence-torn Libya may have a chance on a charter flight to Rome early this morning (NZT).

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade is advising New Zealanders to leave the country by commercial means if it is safe to do so. Eighteen New Zealanders are registered with MFAT as being in Libya, where hundreds have reportedly died in violent clashes between security forces and demonstrators in several cities.

A Canadian charter flight was to leave Tripoli Airport early today. New Zealanders wishing to take it had to be at the airport by 9.30am (8.30pm last night NZ time), MFAT said on its safe travel website.