Afriqiyah Airways (Tripoli) has lost a relatively new Airbus A330-200 (5A-ONF) at its Tripoli base after a rocket reportedly hit the parked A330 at the gate and the empty airliner quickly burned. There are now photos showing the destruction.
According to Malta Today, “Several Grad rocket struck the airport late on Monday, July 14 destroying 90% of the planes parked there, including a $250 million Afriqiyah Airways Airbus A330.”
The fighting by the two militia groups to control the the airport after a cease fire failed to hold continues today. The undamaged airliners and crews are being flown out of the country.
According to the Ottawa Citizen, “The weeklong fight over the airport is being waged by a powerful militia from the western city of Zintan, which controls the facility, and Islamist-led militias, including fighters from Misrata, east of Tripoli. The clashes resumed early Sunday (July 20) after cease-fire efforts failed.”
Tripoli International Airport (IATA: TIP, ICAO: HLLT) operated by LANA and the home of Libyan Airlines, Afriqiyah Airways and Buraq Air was closed this morning according to a report by Reuters. According to Reuters, “LANA said two rockets landed at dawn on a runway”. The airport reported it planned to reopen once it was determined to be safe.
Gun battles between rebel group and the new government of Libya have erupted in the capital city according to Aljazeera.
Although Libyan Airlines flights to UK remain suspended until further notice, sister company, Afriqiyah Airways (Tripoli) has resumed services between Tripoli and London-Gatwick. Flights presently operate three times per week, on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
However the Libya Herald reported on March 3 Libyan Airlines was going to restart its European flights operated by Nouvelair.
Both airlines are owned by the Libyan African Aviation Holding Company (LAAHC).
According to Libya Herald, Libyan Airlines flights (operated by Nouvelair) were suspended to Europe by the Libyan Civil Aviation Authority (LYCAA) in late February after a flight lost ATC communications in French airspace.
Both Libyan carriers must use wet-leased aircraft in European Union airspace.
Both companies are moving slowly ahead in their merger process and hope to complete the process by the end of this year. Meanwhile Libyan will concentrate on routes to Africa and is exploring new routes to Asia according to ATW.
Copyright Photo: Rob Skinkis/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-212 TS-INN (msn 793) operated by Nouvelair lands in Manchester.
Afriqiyah Airways (Tripoli) rebranded the company in October with this new aircraft livery and logo (see above). With the new political situation in Libya, a new livery was inevitable. The new “three slash” tail logo replaces the previous 9.9.99 tail logo. According to the airline, the three medium blue marks represent the neck markings of the Turtle Dove, a migratory bird of North Africa.
State-owned Afriqiyah Airways was reportedly being considered for a planned merger with rival Libyan Airlines (Tripoli).
Since the end of civil war, the company has been rebuilding under the new State of Libya. The traditional Tripoli-Paris (CDG) route was restored on October 31 with leased aircraft. The restored route is currently being operated three days a week.
The old “9.9.99” tail motif previously celebrated the establishment of of the African Union on September 9, 1999 in Sirte which Libya supported under Gaddafi. The name “Afriqiyah” is Arabic for African. The old logo was associated with deposed dictator Muammar Gaddafi.
Copyright Photo: Eurospot/AirlinersGallery.com. The pictured newly-built Airbus A330-202 F-WWYK will become 5A-ONP (msn 1472) on delivery.
Poll: Do you like the new Afriqiyah Airways livery?
According to ATW, “Investigators examining the Afriqiyah Airways A330-200 crash are expected to focus on faulty landing aids and the pilots being blinded by the sun as possible causes.
ATWOnline has learned that Runway 09, to which the aircraft was headed, does not have an ILS and the VOR navigational aid was suffering from interference. Pilots were warned in a NOTAM that “interference from signal being experienced during current airport development work. VOR should be used with caution.”
The aircraft was landing to the east and crashed just as the sun was rising, leading to suspicions that the pilots may have been blinded by sunlight to possible errors in their approach and height caused by problems with the landing aids. The aircraft’s flight data and cockpit voice recorders both have been recovered.”
Airbus A330-202 F-WWYV (msn 999) makes its first flight at Toulouse on June 18. It will be delivered to Afriqiyah Airways (Tripoli) as 5A-ONF. The new airliner displays the revised 2007 livery. Copyright Photo: Eurospot.