‘We are looking to make a purchase the day after sanctions are lifted,’ an LAA source told MEED in late June. Almost $1,000 million has been budgeted for LAA’s expansion programme, which includes small, regional aircraft as well as larger wide-body planes.

The airline currently operates 10 ageing Boeing aircraft. Its operations were seriously curtailed during the 1990s by UN sanctions, which prohibited any aircraft from entering or leaving Libyan air space. The restrictions have since been lifted, but US sanctions still prohibit Tripoli from buying either aircraft or aircraft parts. A ban on direct flights between the US and Libya still remains in place.

In April, Prime Minister Shukri Ghanem toured Airbus’ Toulouse factory as part of a visit to France to promote foreign investment (MEED 23:4:04).

The UK’s BAE Systemsis in the final stages of negotiation with Tripoli on a series of agreements to modernise the country’s civil aviation infrastructure (MEED 2:4:04).