By Ajnaddin Mustafa.
Tripoli, 29 October 2014:
Buraq Air, much of whose fleet was damaged in fighting at Tripoli airport, is hiring an . . .[restrict]Airbus A320 from a Kyrgyz carrier which is banned from operating in European airspace.
The aircraft is being leased from S Group International, which was set up in the Kyrgyz Republic in 2013.
Buraq has until now operated mainly Boeing 737s and Ilyushins. Four of its Boeings were damaged during the July battles around Tripoli International Airport. One Boeing was burnt out completely but the airline managed to fly another with shrapnel and bullet damage to Malta for repairs.
Details of the hire from S Group International are not available. However, given that Buraq pilots are unlikely to be type-cleared on the Airbus, the aircraft, registration number EX-32004, has probably come with its own flight crew as part of a “wet lease”.
The EU flying ban on the two aircraft operated by S Group International will not affect Buraq which does not operate to Europe. Along with Libya Airlines and Afriqiyah it is party to a voluntary agreement to keep out of EU skies until the Libyan Civil Aviation Authority is deemed to have improved its performance including certification and inspection procedures of flight crews and engineers.