Mystery surrounds the destination of the Air West Il-76 (registration 4L-AWA) that was detained in Bangkok with a load of arms over the weekend.
According to various reports, the aircraft was on its way from North Korea to Sri Lanka loaded with weapons that could have been made in either China or North Korea. It makes little sense if Sri Lanka was the final destination, given that Colombo buys arms directly from China and has few or no ties with Pyongyang.
Air West, according to our records, is based in Sudan. However, industry sources say that Air West, which operates charter flights, was struck off the Sudanese civil aviation authority's registry three years ago.
According to our database, Air West is also linked to Sudan-based Sun Air - which, according to its website, offers scheduled and charter services and aircraft lease management. Sun Air, in turn, is linked to Sudan's Matthew Group, which sells jet fuel at various airports in Sudan.
So far, it is all still a mystery but the indications certainly point to Sudan as a possible destination. If anyone has any information, let me know.