Libya’s Afriqiyah Airways Fails to Pay Fuel Debts

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On Friday, Libya’s Brega Petroleum Marketing Company said it was obliged to stop supplying aviation fuel to Libyan Airlines and Afriqiyah Airways, as a result of the two carriers’ failure to pay their debts for fuel already used.

In a statement, Brega said that to preserve public funds, it is legally prohibited from selling on credit to any commercial company, including the two airlines. It claimed that they owe the Libyan state millions of dinars in used jet fuel. Continuing to do so would be in violation of the applicable laws and regulations.

It added that it had formed what it called a High Committee for Debts to chase any mounting arrears from Libyan companies. However, Libyan Airlines and Afriqiyah Airways failed to comply with agreements concluded with the committee to pay their dues in installments, which was a legal violation.

The petroleum marketing company claimed it had addressed the two companies.

In June, the Chairman of Libya’s Brega Oil Marketing Company, Ibrahim Abu Bredaa, stated that the accumulated dues of Libyan Airlines and Afriqiyah Airways range from 300-320 million Libyan dinars as of April 2022.

Abu Bredaa explained in a televised interview that the debts of the two companies started “since the state lifted its hand on them.” He pointed out that they concluded an agreement with Afriqiyah Airlines to pay its debts.

He noted that there are difficulties with Libyan Airlines, and try that the Audit Bureau will intervene to resolve this problem.

Notably, the European Union (EU) has imposed a ban on all Libyan airlines in European airspace since 2014, over safety concerns. This came after violent clashes erupted in Tripoli between rival armed groups, which destroyed the city’s international airport. Malta’s Valletta airport began flights to Misrata last month.

The European safety list of banned airlines included Afriqiyah Airways, Libyan Airlines, Buraq Air, Ghadames Air Transport, Global Aviation, and Service Group, Air Libya, and Petro Air.

The seven Libyan airlines are among 115 companies around the world subject to an operating ban or operational restrictions within the EU. This is for failing to comply with international safety standards, according to the EU.

In March 2011, the United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 1973, establishing a ban on all Libyan airspace in order to protect civilians during the uprising that toppled Moammar Gaddafi’s government.