Afriqiyah Airways has placed a firm order with Airbus for the purchase of five A320s. In addition, this young and dynamic airline from Libya has selected the A350 XWB for its long-term expansion plan, signing a Memorandum of Understanding for the acquisition of six A350 XWBs. This follows a first order placed with Airbus in 2006 for six A320s, three A319s and three A330-200s.
With deliveries to Afriqiyah commencing in 2017, the A350 XWBs will allow Afriqiyah Airways to reinforce its long-haul operations in the longer term. The new A320s will be put into service on Afriqiyah's growing international network, covering routes from its base at 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.
Captain Sabri, CEO of Afriqiyah Airways, said: "In preparation for our ambitious expansion plans and capitalising on the recent decision by the Libyan Authorities to establish Tripoli as a major hub in Africa by building a totally new modern terminal of 20 million passenger capacity and upgrading the airport facilities, the new A350 XWBs will bring us the right aircraft at the right time for our fleet expansion. They are also the ideal investment to further strengthen our market position and meet our targets of offering our customers higher levels of service and comfort. For the expansion of our single aisle fleet, and in order to upgrade our product further, the excellent record of the A320 Family made the acquisition of additional Airbus A320 aircraft a natural choice. These aircraft perfectly respond to our expectations in terms of passenger comfort and optimised operational costs".
John Leahy, Chief Operating Officer - Customers of Airbus, added: "We greatly value this new order of Afriqiyah Airways, which is the first A350 XWB order from an African carrier, showing their confidence in our product range. The expansion of the Afriqiyah fleet with further A320s and the all-new A350XWB, is offering them all the advantages of full commonality, the most modern aircraft and the best passenger comfort. We are very proud to accompany this dynamic carrier in their growth strategy."
The A350 XWB is Airbus' newest aircraft model and will be the world's most technically advanced when it enters service in 2013. Designed to increase productivity and offer unparalleled levels of passenger comfort in its class, the A350 XWB will reduce operating costs for airlines. Addressing environmental concerns and cost-effectiveness, the A350 XWB will be one of the most fuel-efficient aircraft ever.
The A320 Family, which also includes A318, the A319 and the A321 is recognised as the benchmark in the single aisle aircraft market. So far, over 5,070 A320 Family aircraft have been ordered, making the aircraft the fastest selling commercial jetliner ever.
Airbus is an EADS company.