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Libyan Airlines
الخطوط الجوية الليبية
Founded 1965
Focus cities
Fleet size 16 (+15 orders)
Destinations 30
Parent company Libyan African Aviation Holding Company
Headquarters Tripoli, Libya
Key people Capt. Mohamed M. Ibsem, Chairman

Libyan Airlines (Arabic: الخطوط الجوية الليبية‎; transliterated: al-Khutut al-Jawiyah al-Libiyah),[1] is the national flag carrier airline of Libya, based in Tripoli.[2] It operates scheduled passenger and cargo services within Libya and to Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. Its main base is Tripoli International Airport.[3] The airline carried 885,000 passengers in 2007, of which 40% travelled on domestic services. It expects to carry 950,000 passengers this year. Libyan Airlines and Afriqiyah Airways, Libya's other state carrier, have recently been grouped under Libyan African Aviation Holding Company, an umbrella organisation created to oversee a co-ordinated development of Libya's air transport sector.[4] The airline is also a member of the Arab Air Carriers Organization and the International Air Transport Association.



A Libyan Arab Airlines Airbus A320-200 with old livery and titles at Tripoli International Airport. The airline's name and livery were recently changed and Libyan Airlines was regrouped with Afriqiyah Airways under a new holding company.

Libyan Airlines was established in 1964 as Kingdom of Libya Airlines and started services in October 1965 using Caravelle jets to Europe. It later operated as Libyan Arab Airlines and Jamahiriya Libyan Arab Airlines. Boeing 727 aircraft were operated on European services during the late 1970s and early 1980s. The London Heathrow service was stopped in the 1980s due to political problems. Boeing 707s were used on long-haul services.[citation needed]

After the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, a Boeing 747, over Lockerbie, Scotland in 1988, the United Nations imposed sanctions on Libya. All international operations ceased in 1992 as a result of UN trade sanctions imposed when Libya refused to hand over two government agents allegedly involved in the Lockerbie bombing. For a little more than ten years, the airline was forced to fly only to domestic destinations using old aircraft. The embargo was finally lifted in April 1999, allowing the airline to gradually rebuild its international services. In 2001 Air Jamahiriya was merged into Libyan Arab Airlines [3].

After the ending of international sanctions against Libya, Libyan Airlines as LAA reopened its first international route in over a decade to Amman, Jordan, in April 1999.


A Libyan Airlines Airbus A320 with new livery at Benina International Airport in Benghazi.

Libyan Airlines and Afriqiyah Airways, together with business jet operator United Aviation, and their handling, maintenance and catering companies, are grouped under Libyan African Aviation Holding Company. The handling, maintenance and catering organisations had previously been separated from Libyan Arab Airlines, with the flying activities refocused under the name of Libyan Airlines. LAAHC is owned by four government entities: the Libyan National Social Fund (30%), Libyan National Investment Company (30%), Libya-Africa Investment Fund - previously the owner of Afriqiyah Airways - (25%), and the Libyan Foreign Investment Company (15%).[4] The LAAHC was initially created in a bid to privatise much of the airline's operations, and further strengthen the probability of a merger between the two state airlines. The codeshare currently implemented on all flights between the two airlines is the first step towards a merger, and it is expected that both airlines will merge before the end of 2011.[5]

In recent years, the carrier had been negotiating with aircraft manufacturers for new jet planes for its fleet. The extra jets would allow the airline to expand services to cover most of Africa, many European cities, as well as connections to China, India, Pakistan, Japan, the Philippines, Canada and the U.S. The airline recently upgraded a previous Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Airbus for the purchase of 15 new aircraft, four A350s, four A330-200s and seven A320s to a firm order.[6]

The reason for expansion is to continue to replace the airline's ageing fleet after three Bombardier CRJ900 regional jets were delivered last year, with options remaining on another two aircraft. It would also be to fend off increased competition. The airline currently has a programme is in place to increase personnel and technical capacity. Four cargo planes, with a capacity of about 100 metric tonnes, would also be purchased under the expansion plan.[7]

One of the purposes of the renewal would be to attract European tourists to Libya in a bid to raise passenger numbers. The airline has continued to launch new destinations as part of expansion plans; a twice weekly Milan-Tripoli service began on November 18, 2006 as well as new routes opened to Ankara, Athens and Madrid in 2009. Ticketing systems, inflight entertainment and an online presence are among the operational areas the airline has also been looking at.[8] As of September 2007, the airline has begun to issue electronic tickets.[9] By September 2010, Libyan Airlines is to create a new leisure brand, which it will launch when it receives the first of its seven new Airbus A320s. The brand will offer holiday packages, including flights and accommodation, under a new brand to keep the product isolated from its normal regional operations. The airline hopes the brand will attract more passengers and help increase the load factor of its aircraft.[10]



Codeshare agreements

Libyan Airlines operates the following codeshare routes:

New destinations

In 2009, the airline introduced new international routes to Ankara, Athens and Madrid. Two weekly flights depart to Athens International Airport from Tripoli and Benghazi.[11] Three weekly flights also depart from Tripoli to Madrid and Ankara.[12] Other planned destinations include two weekly flights from Sebha to Niamey, and two weekly flights to the Sudanese capital Khartoum from Benghazi. The airline has also announced the expansion of its current route network to include daily flights to Tunis, Cairo, Alexandria, Dubai, Amman, Casablanca.[13] One city in China is targeted for the near future. The airline planned to launch a route to a French city, but bilateral agreements allow for only seven flights between France and Libya. The airline has requested 28, but were offered only two additional flights from winter 2008/09, and only from regional airports.[4]


The Libyan Airlines fleet consists of the following aircraft (as of 3 June 2009):

Aircraft In Service Orders Passengers Notes
Fokker F27 5 0
Fokker F28 2 0
Yakovlev Yak-40 4 0
Tupolev Tu-154 4 0
Airbus A300-600 2 0
Airbus A310-200 0 0
Airbus A320-200 2 7
Airbus A330-200 0 4
Airbus A340-200 0 0
Airbus A350-800 0 4 2017
BAC One-Eleven 0 0
Bombardier CRJ-900 5 0
Boeing 707-300 1 0
Boeing 727-200 1 0
Boeing 747-200B 0 0
McDonnell Douglas MD80 0 0
ATR 42 2 0
Lockheed L-1011 0 0

As of 3 June 2009, the average age of the Libyan Airlines fleet is 8.6 years

Incidents and accidents

On February 21, 1973, Libyan Arab Airlines Flight 114, a Boeing 727, was shot down by Israeli air forces that suspected the civilian jet was an enemy plane. Among the 113 on board, 1 crew member and 4 passengers survived.

On December 22, 1992, Libyan Arab Airlines Flight 1103 a Boeing 727 collided with a Libyan Air Froce Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-23 over Tripoli in Libya. Both aircraft crashed killing all 157 passengers and crew on the Boeing 727 and the 2 crew on the Libyan Air Froce jet.


  1. ^ Libyan Airlines AACO
  2. ^ "Libyan Airlines." Arab Air Carriers Organization. Retrieved on 9 November 2009.
  3. ^ a b "Directory: World Airlines". Flight International: p. 105. 2007-04-03. 
  4. ^ a b c (May 20, 2008), Endres, Gunter, Libya to restructure air transport sector, FlightGlobal, Accessed May 20, 2008
  5. ^ Dec 28, 2009, "Libyan Airlines and Afriqiyah to Merge: Libyan CEO", capitaleritrea, Accessed Dec 29, 2009.
  6. ^ (Dec 10, 2007), Libyan Airlines to order 15 Airbus aircraft including A350s, A330s and A320s, Airbus Press Releases, Accessed Dec 10, 2007
  7. ^ (November 10, 2006), "Libyan Airline Plans Major Expansion",, Accessed Nov 11 2006
  8. ^ (Dec 2006), "New aircraft to underpin Libyan Airways’ reconstruction", Travel and Tourism News Middle East (TTN), Accessed Jan 3, 2007.
  9. ^ (Sep 1, 2007) Libyan Airlines begin issuing electronic ticket, Accessed Sep 4, 2007
  10. ^ (Dec 10, 2007), Libyan Airlines to order 15 Airbus aircraft including A350s, A330s and A320s, Airbus Press Releases, Accessed Dec 10, 2007
  11. ^ (July 3, 2009), Libyan Airlines returns to Greece after a 17-year absence
  12. ^ Libyan Airlines starts first flight to Turkey's Ankara
  13. ^ (June 7, 2009), Libyan Airlines launches new routes, AMEInfo, Accessed June 11, 2009

External links


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