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Thursday, 2 May, 2002, 13:41 GMT 14:41 UK
Libya enters Africa airline dogfight
Afriqiyah Airways 737
Afriqiyah will fly to many West African destinations
The Libyan Government and Italian airline Blue Panorama have set up a new carrier, Afriqiyah Airways, to fly from Tripoli to West African capitals.

Competition on West African routes is intensifying, with Uganda's AfricaOne making its first flights earlier this week to compete with Kenya Airways, one of Africa's most profitable carriers.

Brussels Airlines, the carrier formed from the rump of bankrupt airline Sabena, last week started flights to many of the Belgium flag carrier's former African destinations.

Cutbacks by airlines after 11 September and the closures of Sabena and Air Afrique left many African routes unserviced.

The Libyan state owns 51% of Afriqiyah Airways, with the remainder held by Libyan, African and foreign shareholders.

Blue Panorama will supplying the planes and staff.

African routes

Using two Boeing 737-400s, the carrier will fly from Tripoli to Benghazi (Libya), Khartoum (Sudan), Niamey (Niger), Accra (Ghana), Bamako (Mali), Ndjamena (Chad), Bangui (Central African Republic), Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso).

Other routes include Dubai, Khartoum, Tunis and Cairo.

Afriqiyah Airways partner, Blue Panorama Airlines (BPA), which was founded in 1998 and is based at Rome-Fiumicino airport, deals mainly with tour operators.

The carrier flies to Italy's main airports, some European capitals, and Mediterranean tourist resorts and recently began flying to the Ukraine.

See also:

29 Apr 02 | Business
Pan-African airline takes off
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