Libyan Airlines, known as Libyan Arab Airlines over several decades, is the oldest and the national flag carrier airline of Libya. Based in Tripoli, it operates scheduled passenger and cargo services within Libya and to Europe, North Africa and the Middle East, the majority of which leave from Tripoli International Airport. Benina International Airport in Benghazi serves as a secondary base. The company is a member of the Arab Air Carriers Organization and the International Air Transport Association.Several of the airline"s fleet and routes have been grounded since March 2011 due to the Libyan civil war of the same year. The proposed privatisation and merger with Afriqiyah Airways has also been postponed, despite the fact it was originally planned to be effective in November 2010. The two carriers were later expected to merge in late 2011, however the Arab Spring and poor organisation forced this deal to be postponed many more times. Both airlines are to merge by the first half of 2013, according to Libya"s current Interim Transport Minister Yousef el-Uheshi â€“ 12 to 13 months after negotiations are expected to resume in March 2012. The successful merging of the carriers depends on the government"s ability to cut costs in both workforce and salaries, which rival European carriers in size.
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