Libyan Airlines signs for ATR 42-500s

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Libyan Airlines has signed for two ATR 42-500 regional turboprops to improve its domestic air services, in a deal valued at $35 million.

The contract, signed at the LAVEX air show in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, will see the aircraft - powered by Pratt & Whitney Canada PW127Ms and in a 48-seat configuration - delivered by the end of this year.

Captain Mohamed Ibsem, Libyan Airlines' CEO, says the decision to purchase ATRs will allow the airline "to improve the quality of our regular air connectivity to several local communities". Factors behind the choice of ATR 42s included their flexibility in the harsh operating conditions of the Libyan desert and low operating costs, particularly on the carrier's low-yield routes, he adds.

Jacques Desbarats, ATR senior vice-president commercial, says the manufacturer is pleased to gain a foothold in the Libyan domestic market, which he says has "strong growth potential".