Gaddafi’s Airbus A340 is back in service ten years after his death

Gaddafi flew the aircraft between 2006 and 2011, then in the colors of the national airline Afriqiyah Airways. The Airbus (5A-ONE) had already been delivered to the royal family of Brunei in 1996, and ended up with the Libyan dictator via Saudi Arabia.

During the Libyan civil war in 2011, the aircraft fell into the hands of rebels. The images of this, with rebels proudly moving into the luxurious interior, went all over the world. Due to the NATO air blockade, Gaddafi was unable to use the plane for some time.

As a result of the war, the Airbus was badly damaged, including bullet holes in the fuselage. The new Libyan government therefore sent the aircraft to France for repair. At the time, it also got a new color scheme to erase the memory of Gaddafi.

The plan was to use the Airbus as a government aircraft again, but not much later, in 2014, the aircraft had to return to France for safety. Fighting between different rival groups made it too risky to leave it in Libya.

For years, the device was then gathering dust in Perpignan, partly due to the attachment of creditors. A YouTuber even broke into it to film the interior. But now Libya has paid all the bills. As a result, the Airbus was finally able to return ‘home’ after maintenance in Istanbul.

‘The plane belongs to the Libyan people’
Arriving in Tripoli on Sunday evening, Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh said the return of the aircraft is part of the restoration of Libya’s sovereignty and that he wants to retrieve more Libyan aircraft from abroad. This concerns both commercial and combat aircraft.

According to the prime minister, the Airbus belongs to the Libyan people, and it is now up to the people to determine whether the A340 will be used again as a government aircraft or will be used in another way. It is not entirely clear how the people should determine this exactly.

The arrival in Tripoli yesterday:

The aircraft shortly after it was captured by the rebels:

The Airbus when Gaddafi was still using it:


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