Mittwoch, 11. April 2012

EU Ban of Libyan Air Carriers

About 10 days ago the EU imposed a ban on all Libyan carriers to enter its airspace. Shortly afterwards the NTC came up with a press statement on that subject, indicating that the Libyan government themself has asked for such a ban. So much for the official story.
Behind the scenes, quite some Libyans are working on fixing that problem, because the longer Libyan carriers wait to sort out the problem, the more dominant (especially) European carriers will become. One issue is definitely the maintenance of their planes. Some of them were and are maintained in Italy, for some others a German company is servicing them and France also declared in January that they will take care of the Airbus fleet to be serviced.
The airplanes themselves are quite new, and Libya is still expecting quite a number of new Airbus from the 320 family (some dozens!!!).
In the meantime Libyan planes can serve the always overbooked route Tripoli - Benghazi, a destination were the newly founded Buraq (a semi private company which started operating in 2008) had a dominant position with its two new Boeing 737-800.
For the next few weeks Libyan Airlines announced it will go for a "wet lease"* and fly to some European capitals from Tripoli, including Vienna.  
* Wet Lease: Both, airplane and crew are leased. Thus the EU ban does not apply in this case

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