Thursday, September 5, 2013

► LIBYA: (Pics) Ministry of Defense takes redelivery of Gaddafi's repainted A340.

The Libyan Ministry of Defense has taken redelivery of an Airbus A340-300 (MCN 151 | 5A-ONE) following an overhaul and a refit in Toulouse, France. The aircraft was made famous as the private jet of deposed Libyan strongman Muammur Gaddafi prior to his death in 2011.

Acquired from Saudi Arabia's Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud, a nephew of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah, in 2003 for USD120million, the A340 was slightly damaged during the siege of Tripoli Airport in 2011 and stored there until being ferried to Toulouse earlier in the year for repair. However, its reactivation was subject to the outcome of a July 2013 court case between the Saudi Prince and the agent who organized the sale, a British-based Jordanian woman, Daad Sharab, in which Al-Waleed was ordered to pay Ms Sharab USD10million (GBP6.5million) in commission.

As seen above, its previous interior had featured armchairs "bound in silver leather, red and grey carpets on the floor, nightclub-style spotlights all over the ceiling," as well as a jacuzzi.

5A-ONE in Gaddhafi-era Afriqiyah 9999 colours (Robert Budde)
5A-ONE repainted in Toulouse (Michel Charron)
5A-ONE departing Toulouse for Africa (Maxou)
5A-ONE has been rebranded by a local Libyan firm from its previous Afriqiyah "9999" livery. It will now be operated by EACS, a company owned by the Libyan Defense Ministry, and used as the official Libyan state aircraft.