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AFRAA: Afriqiyah Plans Its International Relaunch


Par Routes Online, le 24 Novembre 2011



AFRAA: Afriqiyah Plans Its International Relaunch
Libyan carrier Afriqiyah Airways is hoping to relaunch scheduled international operations from December 1, bringing a bright end to what has been a very difficult year for the airline. After working to complete a long-planned merger with fellow state-controlled carrier Libyan Airlines, its plans were thrown into disarray following the uprising in the country, the grounding of the carrier and the resultant military action.

After the ousting and recent capture and death of former leader Muammar Gaddafi, Libya is now working to rebuild its damaged aviation business and Afriqiyah Airways is in the process of returning to the air. At least one of its Airbus A300 fleet was destroyed by shelling at Tripoli International Airport and its headquarters were destroyed at the height of the conflict. Engineers are currently completing extensive checks on the remainder of the fleet to check for bullet damage.

“It has been a very difficult situation for everybody involved with the airline,” its Chief Executive Officer, Rammah Ettir told The HUB at this week’s African Airlines Association Annual General Assembly in Marrakech, Morocco. “It is difficult for us to plan ahead. It is not yet clear where we stand. The interim government is expected to be in place within the week, but we don’t currently know what their plans are for the aviation business.”

Afriqiyah Airways has developed a draft business plan which could see the resumption of international flights from the beginning of December. The carrier is currently offering some domestic services, although these are at this stage predominantly on a humanitarian basis. The initial route map will cover Alexandria, Faro, Istanbul and Tunis and will be served by a single Airbus A319. In the longer-term the airline plans to resume flights to most of the destinations it served prior to the conflict.