by Alan Dron
Fri, 2015-09-11 14:28
New Libyan carrier Libyan Wings plans to launch operations by “the end of next week,” CEO Edgardo Badiali told ATW Sept. 11.The airline has been attempting to get off the ground for some months, but has been stymied by the political turmoil in the North African country, which has seen several factions fighting to control the country. Several aircraft belonging to Libyan Airlines and Afriqiyah Airways were damaged or destroyed by warring groups at Tripoli International Airport.
Conditions in the capital Tripoli are now much calmer, Badiali said, and final paperwork covering areas such as insurance has been tied up in the past few weeks.
Libyan Wings will initially fly two Airbus A319-100s, leased from Dubai Aerospace Enterprise. The aircraft arrived in Malta at the end of 2014 and have been waiting since then for an opportunity to begin services. One is due to move to Libya in the coming week.
Initial services will be launched to Istanbul, followed by Khartoum. It also plans to fly to Tunis, the capital of neighboring Tunisia. Negotiations are underway with the Tunisian authorities for up to three flights daily, reflecting the amount of business undertaken between the two countries.
At the 2013 Dubai Air Show, Libyan Wings placed an order with Airbus for four A320neos and three A350-900s; this order “is still going ahead,” Badiali said. Delivery dates are uncertain, but he said, “We have very good relations with Airbus. We’ve said to them ‘Let us take off and we will sit at the table and see [regarding delivery dates].’”