Libyan Wings looks for new aircraft and higher frequencies
Top of the carrier's leasing list is the A321, followed by the A320 and then the A319.
The carrier, which began operations last October, currently operates a fleet of two A319s, with a two-class business and economy configuration, servicing a thrice daily service to Tunis, a three times a week service from Misrata Airport to the southern Tunisian city of Sfax and a four times a week service to Istanbul.
Badiali said the carrier is also hoping to upgrade its Istanbul service to daily “possibly in December” and to shortly get the green light to begin flights to Casablanca. “We are all set to start but it’s all dependent on approval from the Moroccan government.”
The CEO said Libyan Wings turned in a sterling performance, “well over target” in its first year of operations. “We have been running at 90% load factor and a more than decent yield. We now need to increase frequency and are in discussions for possible new destinations.”
Badiali said the airline, which currently employs between 120-130 staff, should have carried 250,000 passengers by the end of January next year.
The CEO said that the airline, which had operated with “a very high punctuality record” and had built a good brand reputations for service and safety, is now “going through a major change moving from the start-up phase to a bigger company in a more competitive environment. We are now preparing the next steps and are also working on a couple of inter-line agreements.”
Among expansion being explored by the airline are possible joint ventures in the ground handling and technical arena. “We are talking about small steps in the MRO field, possibly around line maintenance.”
Badiali said the majority of the airline’s passengers are Libyans, particularly on the Tunisian routes with Libyans not requiring visas to travel to Tunisia. “There’s currently a very high level of demand,” he said, “particularly from medical traffic going to Tunisia and Turkey. We have also noticed an upturn in demand from the international energy sector. When the country does settle, we will see a huge uplift in demand from the inward investment and real estate sectors.”