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Why Gadhafi's private jet is gathering dust on a French airfield

February 18, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 19.1%. 1 min read.

A luxurious customized Airbus A340 that once belonged to ousted Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi has been stranded in Perpignan, France, since 2014, and is embroiled in lawsuits and controversy

Although on the outside it looked like just another airliner of Libya's flag carrier, Afriqiyah Airways, this extravagantly fitted aircraft was Gadhafi's very own flying palace.

The fate of this luxurious presidential plane soon presented Libya's new authorities with a quandary: What to do with an aircraft so closely associated with the excesses of its late dictator?

This was not to be case with the Gadhafi plane but still, one thing was clear: Whatever final use it was given, the aircraft was in need of an extensive and thorough refit.

That's why, in 2012, the former presidential aircraft, registration 5A-ONE, was flown to the facilities of EAS Industries (currently Sabena Technics), an aerospace maintenance and repair firm and Air France subcontractor based in Perpignan, in the south of France.

In the same year Gadhafi bought his Airbus, the Libyan government signed a deal with the Al Kharafi Group, a Kuwait-based conglomerate, to develop a seaside resort in Tajura, near Tripoli.

Gadhafi's presidential plane was to be caught, again, in a crossfire -- only this time it was of the legal rather than literal kind.

However, in 2015 a local French court ruled the aircraft, which at the time was said to have a market value of around $60 million, belonged to a sovereign nation and therefore it enjoyed immunity to a claim of this nature.

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