Air France in contract to repair Libyan jetliners

Franco-Dutch airline Air France-KLM has signed a contract with Libyan carriers Afriqiyah Airways and Libyan Airlines to repair aircraft damaged during the conflict to overthrow Muammar Gaddafi, it said on Wednesday.

Afriqiyah has reaffirmed a contract with Air France Industries KLM Engineering & Maintenance - signed in 2008 and suspended for a year because of political unrest - to support its Airbus A320 and A330 fleet, Air France said.

Air France also signed a five-year repair and maintenance deal with Libyan Airlines relating to its fleet of seven A320s, of which three are yet to be delivered.

"Air France is offering its expertise in the resumption of air operations in Libya by helping Afriqyiah Airways and Libyan Airlines return their aircraft to service, aircraft which were damaged during the fighting that took place there in recent months," Air France said.

Air France also said it would operate a scheduled service to Tripoli "as soon as the required safety and operational conditions are met."

French Trade Minister Pierre Lellouche said on a visit to Tripoli on Tuesday that European planemaker Airbus, part of aerospace and defence group EADS, had resumed talks to deliver aircraft to Libya following Gaddafi's fall.

The two Libyan carriers have a backlog of orders worth around $4 billion at current list prices for Airbus aircraft.

(Source: Reuters)

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