Libyan Airlines is planning to exercise options for five additional Airbus A320s and acquire up to five additional Bombardier CRJ900s.

The fast-growing North African carrier signed a big deal with Airbus at the 2007 Paris air show covering seven A320s plus five options as well as four A330s and four A350s. Libyan Airlines chief executive Capt Mohamed Ibsem says the carrier is now negotiating with Airbus to firm up all five of the options, giving the carrier additional delivery slots in 2011 and 2012.

"We wanted to make an announcement [firming up the options] at the Dubai air show," Ibsem said at last week's Dubai air show after signing a $95 million contract with CFM International covering engines for the carrier's new A320 fleet. "But we were a little late in the fleet plan."

Ibsem revealed that the carrier also concluded earlier this year a deal with Airbus to accelerate deliveries of the firmly ordered A320s. Delivery of the first aircraft has been accelerated from the second quarter of 2011 to September 2010.

He added that three additional A320s will quickly follow, giving it four by the end of 2010. "There were slots available and we need airplanes," Ibsem explained.

He said Libyan also has accelerated the delivery of its first A330 from the first quarter of 2012 to June 2011.

Libyan ordered in 2008 five CRJ900s and Ibsem revealed the carrier is now looking at acquiring three to five additional CRJ900s for delivery in 2012. "We're discussing a deal to add more CRJs, but it is not finalised yet," Ibsem said.

Source: Flight International