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7JetSet7 Code: AQY
Status: Operational
Region: AFRICA
Country: LIBYA
Employees 350
Telephone: +218 21 333 9985
Fax: +218 21 444 6861

Click below for data links:
AQY 2003-10 A320
AQY 2003-12 A300B4-620
AQY 2004-01 737-400
AQY 2004-09 A320
AQY 2007-06-A
AQY 2007-06-B
AQY 2010-05 ACCDT



Libya (Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya) was established in 1951, covers an area of 1,759,540 sq km, its population is 6 million, its capital city is Tripoli, and its official language is Arabic.



2 737-4K5 (24901; 7074), BLUE PANORAMA (BPA) WET-LEASED.



August 2003: A310-222 (357, JY-CAV), Jordan Aviation (JOR) wet-leased.

September 2003: 737-33A (23630, JY-JAB), Jordan Aviation (JOR) wet-leased. A320-211 (157, TS-INH), Nouvelair (NOU) wet-leased.

October 2003: Intends to expand services to English-speaking and other French-speaking markets in West Africa and Europe, as it fills the void in the market left by the collapse of Air Afrique (AFR) and the withdrawal of SN Brussels Airlines (DAT). Already operates connecting services from West Africa through its Tripoli hub to Brussels, and is now "planning to fly to Europe's other French speaking centers - Geneva and Paris." The airline's African destinations include: Benin; Burkina Faso; Chad; Congo; Congo-Brazzaville; Mali; Niger; Sudan; and Togo.

October 2003: In December 2003, Tripoli to Geneva (A320, (NOU) wet-leased, 2x-weekly).

May 2004: 160 employees. SITA: TIPABXH. TIPOWXH.

December 2004: A320-214 (1121), Nouvelair Tunisie (NOU) wet-leased.

April 2005: 287 employees (including 15 Flight Crew (FC), & 40 Cabin Attendants (CA)).


February 2006: Afriqiyah Airways (AQY) will inaugurate nonstop service from Tripoli to Amsterdam on March 28th. The airline will operate 2x-weekly, on Tuesdays, Fridays, with an A320. (AQY) will inaugurate nonstop service from Tripoli to Cairo on June 17th. The airline will operate 2x-weekly on Mondays, Saturdays, with an A320.

March 2006: Afriqiyah Airways (AQY) will inaugurate direct and nonstop service from Tripoli to Douala on March 26th. (AQY) will operate 2x-weekly nonstop service on Wednesdays and direct service on Sundays, with A320s. (AQY) will inaugurate nonstop service from Tripoli to Douala on March 28th. (AQY) will operate 3x-weekly on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, & Saturdays, with an A320.

Sabre Travel Network signed a multiyear, full-content agreement with SN Brussels Airlines (DAT). Meanwhile, +4 additional airlines upgraded their connections to Sabre: Aegean Airlines (CRM), Helios Airways (HCY), Yemenia Yemen Airways (YEM), and (AQY) now are participating at Direct Connect Availability, the "highest level of participation in the Sabre GDS."

June 2006: A320-231 (043, S5-AAA), Adria Airways (ADR) wet-leased (see photo).

July 2006: Tripoli-based Afriqiyah Airways (AQY) signed a Memo of Understanding (MOU) with Airbus (EDS) for acquisition of 3 A319-100s, 6 A320-200s, and 3 A330-200s, as well as options on 5 A319s and +3 more A330s. Engine selections and delivery dates were not announced. The A319s will carry 124 passengers while the A320s will seat 250, both in 2-class configuration. The A330s will operate in a 3-class configuration seating 253.

May 2007: The Libyan government said it will invest $1.2 billion to modernize the fleets of its 2 national carriers, Libyan Airlines (LAA) and Afriqiyah Airways (AQY). According to the Arab Air Carriers Organization, Libyan officials plan to buy up to 12 Airbus (EDS) airplanes and remain in negotiations with Boeing (TBC).

June 2007: Thales (THL) announced an order from Afriqiyah Airlines (AQY) for "TopSeries" In-Flight Entertainment (IFE) systems on 9 new A319s/A320s, with the 1st airplane set to enter service in September.

(AQY) selected (CFM56-5B)s to power an undisclosed number of A319s/A320s scheduled for delivery between 2007 and 2009. The order is valued at $190 million.

5 orders A320-200s, and 6 orders (2/17) A350 XWBs. The A320s will be put into service on (AQY)'s growing international network, covering routes from its base in Tripoli to numerous destinations in North, West, and Central Africa and the Middle East, as well as to European destinations such as Paris, Brussels, Geneva, London, Rome, Amsterdam, and Dusseldorf.

September 2007: 2 A320-214s (3224, 5A-ONA; 3232, 5A-ONB), deliveries.

November 2007: Afriqiyah Airways (AQY) is a Libyan airline operating jet airplane services to other African countries, European destinations and the Middle East.

(IATA) Code: 8U - 546. (ICAO) Code: AAW (Callsign - AFRIQIYAH).

Parent organization/shareholders: Libyan government (100%).

Main Base: Tripoli International Airport (TIP).

Domestic, Scheduled Destinations: Benghazi; & Tripoli.

International, Scheduled Destinations: Abidjan; Accra; Amsterdam; Bamako; Bangui; Brussels; Cairo; Cotonou; Douala; Geneva; Kano; Khartoum; Lagos; Lome; London; N'djamena; Niamey; Ouagadougou; & Paris.

December 2007: Afriqiyah Airways (AQY) formally agreed to become the African launch customer with an order for 6 A350 XWBs.

The announcement on 10 December coincided with a state visit to Tripoli by French Prime Minister, Nicolas Sarkozy.

June 2008: Amadeus reached 10-year agreements with 12 Arab Air Carriers Org-affiliated airlines for distribution activities in their home markets. 6 members, who have partnered with Amadeus for the past seven years, will be joined by another 6, when their current distribution agreements expire at year end. Accounting for 66% of the reservations made by travel agencies in the (MENA) region, the 12 airlines are Air Algerie (ALG), Afriqiyah Airways (AQY), EgyptAir (EGP), Etihad Airways (EHD), Kuwait Airways (KUW), Libyan Airlines (LAA), Qatar Airways (QTA), Saudi Arabian Airlines (SVA), Sudan Airways (SUD), Syrian Arab Airlines (SYR), Tunisair (TUN), and Yemen Airways (YEM).

1 order A319-111 (3615), ex-(D-AVYM), and 1 order A330-202 (1043, 5A-).

September 2008: Afriqiyah Airways (AQY) reached a deal with Air France (AFA) Industries (AFI) to provide component support for 14 A319s and A320s. The contract includes access to a spare parts pool managed by (AFI) at Paris de Gaulle.

(AQY) took delivery of its 1st A319-114 (3615, 5A-ONC), which joins 2 A320s it’s already received. These are part of (AQY)'s 2006 order for 11 A320s, 3 A319s, and 3 A330-200s. It also ordered 6 A350s in 2017. (AQY), owned by Libya’s government, operates within Africa, as well as to Europe and the Middle East. Its wide body orders suggest flights to more far-flung destinations may be in its future. To succeed, though, it will need to improve its reputation for poor service.

A319-111 (3657, 5A-OND), delivery.

March 2009: Afriqiyah Airways (AQY) will launch long-haul operations from Tripoli with a 2x-weekly service to Johannesburg beginning July 15. 2x-weekly flights to Manila via Dubai begin July 17 and 3x-weekly service to both Brazzaville and Kinshasa starts September 7. 3x-weekly flights to both Beijing and Guangzhou begin October 3.

(AQY) will take delivery of its 1st A330-202 (999, 5A-ONF) in May, a 2nd (1024, 5A-ONG) in June, and a 3rd (1043) in September.

June 2009: Libyan Airlines (LAA) (CEO) Mohamed Ibsem said that the union of his carrier and Afriqiyah Airways (AQY) under the Libyan African Aviation Holding Company (LAAHC) umbrella likely has paved the way for a merger of the state-owned carriers. (LAAHC)'s initial strategy is to position Libyan as a legacy carrier serving the domestic market and certain international routes and the (AQY) brand as either an international airline hubbed at Tripoli or, potentially, a low-cost carrier (LCC) operation. "The intention is to make one carrier, which could happen in the coming year. But we might have different functions," Ibsem said. He compared the potential new model to that of Qantas (QAN), which operates both the mainline and Jetstar Airways (IMU). "That may be the idea," he said, without confirming any specific intentions.

(AQY) has been attempting to transform Tripoli into a hub between Africa and the rest of the world. It currently flies to 7 European, 2 Middle Eastern and 14 African destinations and will add service to Johannesburg, Cape Town, Brazzaville, Manila, Dhaka, Beijing, and Guangzhou this summer. (AQY) operates 5 A320-200s and 2 A319-100s and has both short- and long-haul Airbus (EDS) airplanes on order.

Ibsem said that hub strategy might be shot-lived. "In my opinion, that model has been tried by many airlines and is losing its value. We cannot all be hub airlines," he said. Carriers that have been successful using that strategy, like Singapore Airlines (SIA), had geographic advantages, he claimed. "Because Libya's geographic position is probably not the best to create a hub model and Africa is not that big a generating market, I think we have to concentrate on the strong Libyan market." (LAA) is working hard to improve its image and service. "We have to upgrade our human resources. We need a lot of money to bring the airline to international standards," he admitted. "But our [work] is a bit tougher because we have some criteria to meet, paying particular attention in terms of safety and quality." (LAA) has passed the (IATA) Operational Safety Audit (IOSA).

(LAA) has 7 A320s on order plus 3 options, in addition to 4 A330s and 4 A350s on firm order. The 1st A320 will be delivered in 2010 and the A330s should arrive by the end of 2011. "Regarding the A350, we feel there is some demand in the Far East and on the North Atlantic because it is linked with the oil industry and I think we have to offer some service," Ibsem said

(LAA) carried 900,000 passengers last year. "We are small. At the moment, we operate mainly domestically and within the region" with 4 A320s, 2 A300-600s and 4 CRJ-900s, he said. (LAA) is emerging from a tough period during which it suffered as the result of international embargos against Libya. "It was very difficult. We had very little to go on and had to create everything ourselves. But now we make a new start," he said, adding that combining with (AQY) also might pave the way for alliance membership.

August 2009: Afriqiyah Airways (AQY) took delivery of its 1st new A330-202 (999, 5A-ONF - - SEE PHOTO - - "AQY-A330-202-JUN09," 1 of 3 of the type ordered in 2006. The aircrat features a 230-seat dual-class configuration and will be deployed on long-haul operations on routes from Tripoli to Africa and Europe.

A319-111 (4004, 5A-ONI) and A330-202 (999, 5A-ONF), deliveries.

September 2009: Afriqiyah Airways (AQY) took delivery of its 3rd A319. The airplane seats 124 passengers and is powered by (CFM56-5B)s.

A330-202 (1024, 5A-ONG), delivery.

October 2009: A330-202 (1043, 5A-ONH), delivery.

January 2010: OnAir announced that Afriqiyah Airways (AQY) selected its Mobile OnAir and Internet OnAir connectivity suite for the Libyan carrier's A330s and Mobile OnAir for its A320 family airplanes. The order marks the 1st time an airline has announced its intention to install connectivity on both its long- and short-range fleets, according to OnAir.

March 2010: A320-214 (4203, 5A-ONJ), delivery.

April 2010: Afriqiyah Airways (AQY)will increase frequencies between Tripoli and Dubai from 4 to 6 weekly flights this summer. The Arab Air Carrier Organization reported that (AQY) has a long-term plan to operate from Dubai to various points in the Indian subcontinent and Far East, namely Dhaka, Mumbai, and Manila.

May 2010: ACCDT: An Afriqiyah Airways A330-202 jet (Flight 8U771) crashed as it tried to land at Tripoli airport, killing 103 people on board and leaving a young Dutch boy the sole survivor, Libyan officials said.

The A330-202, which had been in service only since September, was flying from Johannesburg to the Libyan capital when it crashed just short of the runway around 6 am.

Saleh Ali Saleh, an executive with (AQY) told "Reuters" 62 Dutch nationals had been among the passengers and crew on board the plane.
"Everybody is dead, except for one child," said Libyan Transport Minister, Mohamed Zidan. The plane was carrying 93 passengers and 11 crew (FC) - (CA), Libyan officials and executives from the airline said.

The minister said the survivor was 10 years old. Other Libyan officials said the child was a boy and was in a stable condition after surgery on leg fractures in a Tripoli hospital.

A manifest of those on board was not released but officials in Libya and in the passengers' countries of origin said besides the Dutch contingent they included small numbers of nationals from Britain, Germany, the Philippines, South Africa and Zimbabwe. The transport minister told a news conference 13 Libyan passengers and crew had been on the airplane. He said there were also citizens of France and Finland on board. The minister ruled out terrorism as the cause.

Mohamed Rashid, a doctor at Tripoli's al-Khadra hospital, said the child was doing well after surgery. "The operation was successful and he is under our care," he told reporters, adding that some of the medical staff spoke Dutch and were able to communicate with the patient.

The plane's black boxes had been recovered from the crash site.

"Reuters" pictures from the crash site showed the airplane's tail fin was more or less intact, standing upright but leaning at an angle.
Libyan newspaper "Quryna" reported that shortly before the crash the pilot (FC) had contacted the control tower to ask them to alert emergency services because there was a problem with the plane.

New evidence suggests that the pilots (FC) of the (AQY) A330-200 may have mistaken a major road that runs toward and then veers to the right of the airport for the runway. The airplane crashed 900 m short of the threshold of Runway 09 and 200 m to the right, just beside the road. Runway 09 does not have an (ILS) and the (VOR) navigational aid was suffering from interference. The pilots (FC) also may have had their vision impaired by a combination of the rising sun and ground haze.


The following Flight International report was by David Kaminski-Morrow in March 2013:
"Investigators have traced the loss of an Afriqiyah Airways (AQY) A330-200 at Tripoli to the aircraft's premature descent while preparing to approach runway 09. But the inquiry struggled to determine the precise reason why the pilots (FC) failed to follow the correct descent profile for the non-precision approach.

Libya's Civil Aviation Authority, in its inquiry into the May 12 2010 crash, notes that the same flight crew (FC) made a virtually identical error two weeks earlier. The approach required the A330-200 to descend to 1,350 ft until reaching a locator, designated TW, situated 3.9 nm before the runway threshold. This would then have allowed the jet to follow a normal 3° glideslope to touchdown.

But the inquiry found that the first officer (FC), having levelled the airplane at 1,400 ft, selected flightpath-angle mode on the instrument panel while still 1.3 nm from the TW locator.

Investigators concede that "it is not possible to determine with certainty" the trigger for this decision. But the inquiry suggests he might have misinterpreted a preceding remark from the Captain (FC) as a change in strategy regarding the selected guidance mode.

The first officer (FC) dialled in a 3° glide slope and the airplane commenced its descent, passing over the TW marker at 1,020 ft - some 330 ft below the normal profile.

Libya's inquiry notes that the top of the final descent started 5.2 nm from the runway threshold, a distance which coincides with the distance of 5.2 nm between the TW locator and the Tripoli (VOR)/(DME) beacon.

It theorizes that the First Officer (FC) could have erroneously interpreted the (DME) distance as an indication that the airplane was passing over the TW marker - particularly if this 5.2 nm figure was memorized by Tripoli-based crews.

But the inquiry also considers whether the First Officer (FC) might have deliberately set the 3° glideslope ahead of the marker but "unintentionally" engaged the flightpath-angle mode, leading the airplane to descend early.

The premature descent spurred a poorly-executed attempt to execute a go-around, and the airplane crashed short of the runway threshold.

Fourteen days before the crash, the same flight crew (FC) flew an identical approach, in the same airplane, and also started the final descent from 1,400 ft before reaching the TW marker.

During this incident, the descent started 2 nm ahead of the marker and it was overflown at 1,050 ft. "Overall the approach was never stabilized," says the inquiry. The flight crew (FC) executed a go-around some 70 ft above the minimum descent altitude, but it was also poorly conducted, with the A330 initially ascending, then descending, and dual inputs being recorded from the captain's (FC) and first officer's (FC) side stick controls.

July 2010: Afriqiyah Airways (AQY) launched a 4x-weekly, Tripoli to Lyon service.

(AQY) signed a 10-year "OnPoint solution" agreement for the maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) of its (CFM56-5B) engine fleet. The agreement is valued at >$50 million over the life of the contract. Afriqiyah (AQY) ordered 28 (CFM56-5B)s to power its A320s with 14 engines in service.

September 2010: Afriqiyah Airways (AQY) and Libyan Airlines (LAA) expect to receive government approval to merge by October 15, the Arab Air Carrier Organization (AACO) reported.

Libyan African Aviation Holding Company Chairman, Sabri Shadi said the 2 carriers plan to spend €4 billion/$5.4 billion on new airplanes by the end of 2012. (LAA) (CEO), Mohamed Ibsem said last year that the union of Afriqiyah Airways (AQY) under the Libyan African Aviation Holding Company umbrella likely has paved the way for a merger of the state-owned carriers.

October 2010: Afriqiyah Airways (AQY) will launch 2x-daily, Tripoli to Beijing services on November 2 aboard an A330-200.

November 2010: 2 A320-214s (4489, 5A-ONL; 4521, 5A-ONM), deliveries.

December 2010: Lufthansa (DLH) Consulting signed agreements with Libyan Airlines (LAA) and Afriqiyah Airways (AQY) to check the current airline safety status and provide a 2x-weekly safety and quality assessment program and methodology. It will also implement a pilots (FC)’s upgrade program, administering a computer-based theoretical test and simulator assessment to pilots (FC) at both airlines, to recommend a training program. The 2 airlines are certified (IATA) Operational Safet Audit (IOSA) and (ISO) 9000 companies.

January 2011: Afriqiyah Airways (AQY) launched 2x-weekly, Tripoli to Beijing service aboard an A330-200.

January 2012: Air France Industries (AFI)/(KLM) Engineering & Maintenance has resumed its cooperation with Afriqiyah Airways (AQY) following a hiatus of over a year. The agreement involves pool access and component repairs for (AQY)'s A320 and A330 fleets and includes the maintenance checks on the airplanes.

March 2012: Sabena Technics (SAB) is conducting "C" maintenance checks, modifications and structural repairs on two Afriqiyah Airways (AQY) A330s, at the Sabena Technics (SAB) Bordeaux facilities.

April 2012: Afriqiyah Airways (AQY) and Libyan Airlines (LAA) have been told to stop operating to the European Union (EU) until November 22 by the Libyan government to prevent the country from being blacklisted due to a lack of safety oversight. Libyan Airlines (LAA) already wet-leases an A320-200 from Nouvelair (NOU) and it is expected that this airplane or additional airplanes wet-leased from other countries will be used by the 2 carriers to operate to Europe. (AQY) and (LAA) had planned to merge prior to the revolution but no further plans have recently been published.

Afriqiyah Airways (AQY) plans to finalize an order for 3 A330-300s with deliveries to be scheduled from the 2nd half of 2013. (AQY) already has 2 A330-200s but they are currently in storage at Bordeaux Mérignac airport (BOD).

June 2012: Afriqiyah Airways (AQY) has wet-leased A320-200 (741, ER-AXP) from Air Moldova (MOL) as of June 6. It currently mainly uses the airplane on its services from Tripoli and Benghazi Benina airport (BEN) to Istanbul Atatürk/Yesilköy International airport (IST).

August 2012: Afriqiyah Airways (AQY) has converted an order for 3 A321-200s to its 1st 3 A330-300s with deliveries expected for 2013 and 2014. It currently already has 2 A330-200s in its fleet that are, however, currently still grounded at Bordeaux Mérignac (BOD) and have not flown since the outbreak of the civil war in Libya.

November 2012: Afriqiyah Airways (AQY) inaugurated services on the 2,200 km route from Benghazi (BEN) on the Libyan Mediterranean coast, to the Sudanese capital of Khartoum (KRT) on November 13. (AQY), which launched 2 routes to Tunis on November 6 (4x-weekly departures from Benghazi and 3x-weekly from Sebha, also in Libya), now offers 2x-weekly services from Benghazi to Sudan’s 2nd-largest city. (AQY) will operate A319s on the route.

(AQY), which commenced flying on the route from Benghazi to Khartoum in Sudan, continued international expansion on November 21 with the inauguration of its 1st route to Morocco. Notably, (AQY), which has lately been focused on reconstructing its business following the civil unrest in Libya in February 2011, now flies with 3x-weekly frequencies from the country’s capital, Tripoli (TIP) to Casablanca (CMN) in Morocco. The A319-operated schedule faces competition from Royal Air Maroc (RAM)’s 5x-weekly, and Libyan Airlines (LAA)’s 4x-weekly flights.

(AQY) has placed a follow-on order for 4 A350 XWBs and converted its earlier order for 6 A350-800s to the larger A350-900.

The additional order takes (AQY) to a total of 10 A350-900s. (AQY) plans to configure the type with 314 seats and use it to open new destinations in the USA, the Middle East and Asia. The A350 XWB is scheduled to enter into service in 2014, according to Airbus (EDS).

This marks (AQY)’s 2nd fleet decision over recent months, after (AQY) converted its order for 3 A320s into 3 A330-300s as part of (AQY)’s expansion plans.

(AQY) launched operations from its Tripoli base in December 2001. It operates 3 A319s, 6 A320 and 2 A330s, according to (AQY)’s website.

December 2012: Afriqiyah Airways (AQY), which added flights to Casablanca in the preceding week, resumed services on the route from Tripoli (TIP) to the German city of Düsseldorf (DUS), which it previously operated between January 2008 and July 2011. Beginning on December 3, (AQY) offers 3x-weekly services on the 2,100 km route, which is its 4th in Europe after Istanbul Atatürk, London Gatwick and Rome Fiumicino. All flights are operated with A320s.

Libya has mounted a strong economic recovery, enticing international carriers to rapidly rebuild their capacity, withdrawn after a bloody revolution engulfed the northern African state in February 2011.

The country’s two state-owned airlines, Libyan Air (LAA) and Afriqiyah Airlines (AQY), which both suffered extensive damage to airplanes, resumed operations in late 2011 and are gradually re-establishing their pre-war networks as airplanes return to service.

Their initial focus has been on linking key economic and political partners around the Mediterranean, including Turkey, and to the Middle East as well as Britain.

A merger of the 2 carriers is also progressing slowly, though earlier expectations of a union in the 1st half of 2013 appear to have been put back to at least early 2014.

Meanwhile Turkish Airlines (THY), Tunisair (TUN) and EgyptAir (EGP) lead the foreign airline capacity levels reintroduced.

May 2013: AirFrance Industries ((AFI) (KLM) Engineering & Maintenance will support Afriqiyah Airways (AQY)’s (CF6-80E1) engines on (AQY)'s 2 A330-200s.

1 MD-82 (53182, EC-LEY), ex-(I-SMED), SwiftAir (SWF) wet-leased.

September 2013: Afriqiyah Airways (AQY) introduced flights from Misurata (MRA) to the Egyptian capital Cairo (CAI) on August 20. The 2x-weekly operation is scheduled to be flown using A320s by (AQY) on the 1,574 km sector. (AQY) will compete with the Libyan flag carrier Libyan Airlines (LAA), which flies a weekly service. Although Afriqiyah (AQY) and Libyan Airlines (LAA) currently have separate operations, plans to merge the 2 are making progress, albeit slowly. The Afriqiyah (AQY) route launch brings the total number of services offered by the airline into Cairo to 3, with services also available from Tripoli and Benghazi. The latest route, is its 5th Egyptian service, with the airline offering 3 routes into Cairo, and 2 into Alexandria.

November 2013: Afriqiyah Airways (AQY) resumed operations on the 2,000 km route from its base in Tripoli (TIP) to Paris CDG (CDG), a route it last served in July 2011. Beginning on October 31st, (AQY) offers 3x-weekly flights on the route, which it serves using an A319 wet-leased from Tunis Air (TUN), pending the lifting of the (EU) flight ban that still prevents Afriqiyah, and fellow state-owned airline Libyan Airlines (LAA), from flying their own airplanes in (EU) airspace. In the future, the route is likely to be operated by one of Afriqiyah (AQY)’s own A320s. In Europe, the airline also serves Istanbul Atatürk, London Gatwick (4x-weekly flights), Düsseldorf and Rome Fiumicino (3x-weekly).

December 2013: The European Union (EU) Air Safety Committee appears to be losing patience with the Libyan Civil Aviation Authority (LYCAA) which has imposed a voluntary ban on Libyan carriers flying to the (EU), while it reorganizes its local certification processes.

Sources suggest that the continued failure of the (LYCAA) to meet international requirements could result in an outright ban by the (EU) itself. The "Libya Herald" has also been told that it could take at least 3 years for the (LYCCA) to set its house in order.

The key issue, said the (EU) committee, is for Libya to prove it has completed work to reform its civil aviation safety system and in particular ensure "that the safety oversight of all air carriers certified in Libya is in compliance with international safety standards."

It is clear from the documents just published by the (EU) Safety Committee that it has been pushing Libya to make progress. On October 7th, it asked for an update on the re-certification of Libyan carriers. A month later, representatives from the (LYCAA), as well as Libyan Airlines (LAA) and Afriqiyah Airways (AQY) arrived in Brussels. According to the (EU) committee, the Libyan team said "that in its view they had now completed the five-stage re-certification process for Libyan Airlines (LAA), and that (LAA) should be allowed to operate within the (EU). Documentation of the activities undertaken by the (LYCAA) in the re-certification process was handed to the Commission at the meeting".

This newspaper understands that the documentation that Libya provided was considered to be generally inadequate. Officially however, the (EU) has since noted: "The documents submitted supporting the re-certification of Libyan Airlines (LAA) as presented to the Committee could not be sufficiently evaluated in time for the meeting of the Committee."

It went on to assert that in its view, it appeared that the number of (LYCAA) Inspectors was insufficient for the work that the body had to do.

Perhaps just as seriously, the (EU) said that commercial ambulance flights made by Libyan operators had not been sufficiently restricted within (EU) airspace. This, it said, was in contravention of the voluntary ban that the (LYCAA) had agreed to impose. The problem was compounded by the fact that some of these ambulance flights to the (EU) had been subject to "ramp inspections" on arrival "and on a number of occasions significant deficiencies were found".

The (EU) warned that from now on, before the (LYCAA) considers authorizing Libyan carriers to fly to the (EU), it should demonstrate to the (EU) Safety Committee's satisfaction, "that the re-certification process has been effectively completed and that there is sustainable continued oversight in accordance with (ICAO) [International Civil Aviation Organization] standards.

"Should this not be demonstrated to the satisfaction of the Commission and the Air Safety Committee, the Commission would be obliged to take immediate measures to prevent air carriers from operating within the (EU)." In other words, the (EU) would impose a ban.

In July, the Director General of the (LYCAA), Captain Nasereddin Shaebelain, told the "Libya Herald" that the main challenge had been the re-certification of Libyan pilots (FC). This has been taking longer than expected. At the time, Shaebelain said he hoped the process would be completed by the end of the year but added that the (LYCAA) was keen to take its time and ensure that all the correct standards were met.

January 2014: Afriqiyah (AQY) took delivery of its latest Airbus A330-200 airplane on December 30th at Maetiga airport.

The latest airplane boasts all the latest features: In business (C) class, for example, there are 18C luxury seats providing better comfort and privacy. The seat reclines into a fully equipped bed with a separate reading light and a 12.1 inch screen and a backrest that includes a massager, an electric source for charging electronics, and the ability to make international phone calls.

The economy (Y) section has a capacity of 243Y seats equipped with comfortable armchairs with intervals of not <32-inches as well as individual 9.6 inch display screens pre-loaded with software and games.

It is worth noting, however, that Afriqiyah Airways (AQY), like its counterpart Libyan Airlines (LAA), is still not allowed to fly its own airplanes in European Union (EU) airspace, following the latest meeting of the (EU) Air Safety Committee in November.

Since the recent revolution, (AQY) has had problems with regards to standards, with certification of pilots (FC) being one of the main reasons for the so-called voluntary ban imposed by Afriqiyah (AQY) on itself. (AQY), will therefore, continue to use "wet-leased" airplanes to fly its (EU) routes.

February 2014: Afriqiyah Airways ((IATA) Code: 8U, based at Tripoli International) (AQY) and Libyan Arab Airlines ((IATA) Code: LN, based at Tripoli International) (LAA) could resume flights to Europe using their own metal as early as March this year, the Director General of the Libyan Civil Aviation Authority (LYCAA) has said. Speaking in Tripoli, Captain Nasereddin Shaebelain said a verification team from the European Union (EU) was now in the country to assess the state of the country's civil aviation industry. He underlined that Libya's ban was self-imposed in 2011 and did not cover the country as a whole, but rather applied to individual carriers. As such, he added, any resumption of flights to Europe would depend on the individual company conforming to (EU) specified standards. Since 2011, both Libyan national carriers have opted to use wet-leased Tunisair ((IATA) Code: TU, Tunis) (TUN), Nouvelair ((IATA) Code: BJ, based at Monastir) (NOU) and Air Moldova ((IATA) Code: 9U, based at Chisinau) (MOL) airplanes to cover their European-bound flights to Rome Fiumicino, Malta, Manchester International, Madrid Barajas, London Heathrow, London Gatwick, Frankfurt International and Dusseldorf.

Afriqiyah Airways (AQY) currently operates 14 airplanes to 15 countries, serving 21 destinations, 37 routes and 35 daily flights.

March 2014: Afriqiyah Airways (AQY) and other airlines that use Tripoli International have resumed limited operations at the airfield following an attack there on Friday, March 21.

Libya's "LANA" Newswire reported that 2 rockets hit the airfield's primary runway 09/27 at around 6 am on Friday morning though other reports claim unidentified people planted timed-bombs on the runway which detonated thereafter.

On March 22nd, Libya's Transport Minister, Abdelqader Mohammed Ahmed, said flights had resumed using other runways while the damaged 1 was being repaired. Libya is fighting militias that assisted in the overthrow of former strongman, Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, many of whom have kept their arms to demand more power, wealth, and oil.

April 2014: A330-302 (1499, 5A-ONO - - SEE PHOTO - - "AQY-A330-302-2014-04"), ex-(F-WWTS) delivery.

May 2014: AirFrance Industries (AFI) (KLM) (E&M) has expanded its contract with Afriqiyah Airways (AQY) for total care of a 3rd airplane type, its Airbus A330s.

June 2014: Long-mooted plans to merge Libyan Airlines (LAA) and the North African country’s 2nd carrier, Afriqiyah (AQY), appear to have been abandoned, at least for the near future.

July 2014: An Afriqiyah Airways (AQY) Airbus A330-200 parked at Tripoli International Airport got caught in the cross fire of battling militias on July 20 and was completely destroyed. There was no one on board at the time of the incident.

The A330-200 was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade, according to the Flight Safety Foundation (FSF)’s "Aviation Safety Network (ASN)," which reported the A330 was struck in the tail. A subsequent fire “consumed the airplane,” (ASN) said.

An aviation photographer known as the “Libyan Spotter” posted a video of the airplane on fire on Facebook. The "Aviationist" blog posted pictures.

According to Afriqiyah Airways (AQY)’s website, the airline owned three A330-200s powered by (GE) Aviation (CF6-80E1A4) engines. It also owns 6 A320s and 3 A319s.

According to (ASN), the destroyed A330-202 was (999, 5A-ONF) and 1st flew in 2009.

The "Associated Press" and "Reuters" reported that the fighting also damaged other airplanes and the airport’s terminal.

Tripoli-based Afriqiyah Airways (AQY) was founded in April 2001.

August 2014: The Tunisian Ministry of Transport has banned all flights originating from Libyan airports from its airspace until further notice over security concerns. Since the overthrow of the Gaddafi regime in 2011, central government control in Libya has steadily weakened, with rival groups battling for control of the oil-rich North African nation. The situation has worsened in recent months, with effectively a full-scale civil war now raging between several factions.

The main airport in the capital, Tripoli, has been the scene of some of the heaviest fighting, with reports and images from the scene indicating that several airplanes belonging to the 2 national carriers (Libyan Airlines (LAA) and Afriqiyah Airways (AQY)) have been destroyed or damaged. Islamist rebels were reported to have gained control of the facility.

According to multiple media reports, the decision to ban flights from Libya, followed warnings from foreign intelligence agencies that rebels might attempt to use airplanes captured at Tripoli as suicide bombs.

December 2014: All airlines from Libya have been added to the European Commission (EC)’s aviation safety list, also known as the "airline blacklist," subject to an operating ban or operational restrictions within the European Union (EU).

The updated (EU) Air Safety List now includes Libya, but otherwise remains unchanged, with no countries removed from the list in this update.

(EU) Commissioner for Transport, Violeta Bulc said: “Recent events in Libya have led to a situation whereby the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is no longer able to fulfill its international obligations with regard to the safety of the Libyan aviation sector. My priority in aviation is passenger safety, which is non-negotiable, and we stand ready to help the Libyan aviation sector as soon as the situation on the ground will allow for this.”

Bulc said she was pleased to see that “progress has been made in a number of countries whose carriers are on list, notably the Philippines, Sudan, Mozambique, and Zambia. Hopefully, this progress can lead to a positive decision in the future.”

The updated air safety list includes all airlines certified in 21 states, for a total of 308 airlines fully banned from (EU) skies: Afghanistan, Angola, Benin, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Gabon (with the exception of 3 airlines that operate under restrictions and conditions), Indonesia (with the exception of 5 airlines), Kazakhstan (with the exception of 1 airline which operates under restrictions and conditions), Kyrgyzstan, Liberia, Libya, Mozambique, Nepal, Philippines (with the exception of 2 airlines), Sierra Leone, São Tomé and Príncipe, Sudan, and Zambia. The list also includes 2 individual airlines: Blue Wing Airlines (Suriname) and Meridian Airways ((CPB) (Ghana), for an overall total of 310 airlines.

The list also includes 10 airlines that may only operate into the (EU) using specific aircraft types. These are Air Astana (AKZ) (Kazakhstan), Afrijet (FRJ), Gabon Airlines and SN2AG (Gabon), Air Koryo (KOY) (Democratic People's Republic of Korea), Airlift International (AGH) (Ghana), Air Service Comores (the Comoros), Iran Air (IRN), TAAG Angolan Airlines (ANG) and Air Madagascar (MAD).

The (EU) air safety list covers airlines that are either considered to be unable to respect international aviation safety standards, or whose Civil Aviation Authorities (CAA)s are deemed unable to provide the necessary safety oversight as foreseen by international aviation safety rules. Some are banned outright from operating to the (EU), while others can only do so under very strict conditions. The list also serves as a tool to warn the traveling public, when traveling in other parts of the world.

The (EU) air safety committee, which draws up the list, consists of aviation safety experts from the Commission, each of the 28 member states of the Union, Norway, Iceland, Switzerland, and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).

January 2015: Aerovista (AEV) has placed 4 airplanes with 2 Libyan carriers. (AEV) has placed a Boeing 737-300 and 737-500 with Air Libya (TLR), which specializes in charters for the North African nation’s oil and gas sector. It also undertakes a number of scheduled and ad hoc charters.

(AEV) said the 737-300 “is on a (ACMI) wet-lease project operating scheduled flights within the region.” The 737-500, meanwhile, is based in the eastern Libyan city of Tobruk, as part of a joint venture (JV) with Air Libya (TLR) and is available for charters.

Aerovista (AEV) is also supplying Afriqiyah Airways (AQY) with 2 Airbus A320-200s. The A320s are operating under the air operator’s certificate (AOC) and operational control of (AEV)’s subsidiary, Vista Georgia (AJD).

1 airplane will operate flights for (AQY) from Turkey, the 2nd from Jordan. The latter airplane will initially operate in the Middle East region, but may extend its field of operations to European destinations.

Like all Libyan carriers, Afriqiyah (AQY) is banned from European Union (EU) airspace. Using an airplane under a Georgian (AOC) would allow it to operate into (EU) airports.

Aerovista (AEV) declined to provide further details of the operations being undertaken by the 4 airplanes.

February 2016: Libya's internationally-recognized government has ordered Air Libya (LAA) and Afriqiyah Airways ((IATA) Code: 8U, based at Tripoli Mitiga) (AQY) to suspend their respective services to Sudan with effect from February 28. The former serves El Fasher and Khartoum from Kufrah, while the latter serves Khartoum from Misurata.

In his announcement, Colonel Abdul Hakim al-Obeidi, the spokesman for the Libyan Interior Ministry, said the suspension had been brought on by security concerns.

Last week, a Libyan army unit retook control of the Bouzrik security outpost, located 200 km from the southern town of Kufra, after it fell into the hands of Sudanese rebels affiliated with the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM). At least 20 rebels were killed with 6 captured during the operation. The rebels used the base as a staging point to rob and kill travelers heading to Libya's northern cities.

July 2016: Ubari, an oasis town in Libya's southwestern Sahara desert, is set to resume scheduled flights on July 25 via a weekly return service to Tripoli Mitiga airport operated by Afriqiyah Airways (8U, based at Tripoli Mitiga) (AQY).

Until now, residents have had to travel 400 km south-west to Ghat or 200 km north-east to Sebha, in order to fly to the capital.

The "Libya Herald" reports the launch is a direct result of the sustained ceasefire between warring Tuareg and Tebu factions brokered by Qatar in November last year.

(AQY) currently serves 9 countries with 11 airplanes flying to 14 destinations, 19 routes and 11 daily flights.

October 2016: Afriqiyah Airways ((IATA) Code: 8U, based at Tripoli Mitiga) (AQY) has acquired a 20% stake in the Aviation Training Center of Tunisia (ATCT).

December 2016: 2 Libyan hijackers who took over an Afriqiyah Airways (AQY) Airbus A320 and forced it to fly to Malta on December 23 have been taken into custody after releasing all 118 passengers and crew unharmed, according to the Mediterranean island’s Prime Minister Joseph Muscat.

Malta International Airport (MIA) said operations are "returning to normal and the schedule would fully recover." During the incident, (MIA) said the "aerodrome was closed for <30 minutes with a total of 44 flights affected. There were 9 incoming flights which were diverted, while delays were registered across 20 departing flights and 15 arrivals."

The aircraft had been on a flight from Sabha, in the SW of the North African nation to the Libyan capital Tripoli when it diverted to the small Mediterranean island. Media reports from Malta had said 2 men on board threatened to blow up the aircraft; their demands, if any, were not known.

Muscat had initially tweeted: “Informed of potential hijack situation of a Libya internal flight diverted to Malta. Security and emergency operations standing by.” He later added there were 111 passengers on board—82 men, 28 women and one 1 infant.

(MIA) at Luqa, 5 miles/8 km outside the capital Valletta, had issued a statement saying, "All emergency teams have been dispatched to the site. While some flights have been delayed or diverted, airport operations have been resumed.”

The A320 (3236, 5A-ONB) was delivered to (AQY) in August 2007.

Libya has been in turmoil since the overthrow of President Muammar Gaddaffi in 2011, with several factions struggling to gain control of the oil-rich nation.

Several aircraft from both state-owned Afriqiyah (AQY) and Libyan Airlines (LAA) have been damaged or destroyed on the ground during the conflict and flight operations are at a low level, with both national carriers barred from operating into the European Union (EU) because of a lack of regulatory oversight.

December 2018: A320-214 (4203, 5A-ONJ), ex-(LY-ONJ) returned from Small Planet Airways.

Note: All Libyan air carriers are banned from European Union (EU) airspace.


Click below for photos:
AQY-A320-200 - 2016-07.jpg
AQY-A330-200 - 2013-12
AQY-A350-900 - 2012-11
AQY-L-1011-100 - STAR AIR

April 2019:

0 737-33A (CFM56-3) (1312-23630, JY-JAB), (JOR) WET-LEASED 2003-09. RETURNED.

0 737-4K5 (CFM56-3) (24901; 27074), (BPA) WET-LEASED 2001-12. 2 RETURNED.

0 MD-83 (53182, EC-LEY), EX-(I-SMED), (SWF) WET-LEASED 2013-05. RETURNED 2013-08.

1 A300B4-620 (JT9D-7R4H1) (354, /84 TS-IAY), (NVJ) WET-LEASED 2003-12. (VIP).

0 A310-222 (JT9D-7R4E1) (357, /85 JY-CAV), EX-(MEA), (JOR) WET-LEASED 2003-08. RETURNED. 40C, 140Y.

1 +5 OPTIONS A319-111 (CFM56-5B) (4004, 5A-ONI, 2009-08), 2 CLASS, 124 PAX.

2 A319-114 (CFM56-5B) (3615, 5A-ONC; 3657, 5A-OND - - SEE ATTACHED PHOTO - - "AQY-A319-2008-12"), EX-(D-AVYM). 2 CLASS, 124 PAX.

2 A320-200, VISTA GEORGIA (AJD) (ACMI) WET-LEASED 2015-01.

1 A320-200 (741, ER-AXP), (MOL) WET-LEASED 2012-06.

2 A320-211 (CFM56-5A1) (140, /90 TS-ING; 157, /91 TS-INH), (NOU) WET-LEASED 2003-09. 148Y.

0 A320-211 (CFM56-5A1) (246, TS-INM), RETURNED TO (NOU). 148Y.

1 A320-214 (CFM56-5B4/P) (1121, /99 TS-INA), (NOU) WET-LEASED 2004-12. 148Y.

2 A320-214 (CFM56-5B5/P) (3224, /07 5A-ONA; 3232, /07 5A-ONB), 150Y.

4 A320-214 (CFM56-5B4/P) (3236, /07 5A-ONE), 150Y.

1 A320-214 (CFM56-5B4/P) (4203, 5A-ONJ, 2010-03), RETURNED FROM SMALL PLANET AIRWAYS 2018-12. 150Y.

2 A320-214 (CFM56-5B4/P) (4489, 5A-ONL; 4521, 5A-ONM), 150Y.

0 A320-231 (V2500-A1) (043, /89 S5-AAA (SEE PHOTO); 113, /90 S5-AAB), (ADR) WET-LEASED 2006-06. 162Y.

1 A320-232 (CF6-80E1A4) (4330, 5A-ONK), EX-(F-WWIJ), 2010-06. 162Y.

2 +2 ORDERS A330-202 (CF6-80E1A4) (999, /09 5A-ONF - - SEE PHOTO - - "AQY-A330-202-2009-06" - - THIS AIRPLANE WAS DESTROYED BY BATTLING MILITIAS - - SEE 2014-07 ABOVE; 1024, /09 5A-ONG; 1043, /09 5A-ONH; 2013-12), 1 DELIVERED IN SEPTEMBER 2009 W/O & DESTROYED - - SEE "ACCDT - - MAY 2010;" AIRPLANES STORED AT BORDEAUX MERIGNAC AIRPORT (BOD) 2012-04. 18C, 243Y.

1 A330-202 (1472, 5A-ONP), EX-(F-WWYK), 2013-12.

1 A330-302 (1499, 5A-ONO - - SEE PHOTO - - "AQY-A330-302-2014-04"), EX-(F-WWTS) 2014-04.

1 A340-213 (CFM56-5C4) (151, /96 5A-ONE), (VIP).

10 ORDERS (2017-02) A350-900 XWB, 314 PAX:


1 AN-12.


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