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.
The airline was established in 1964 as Kingdom of Libya Airlines, and the first revenue flights took place in October 1965. From the beginning, it concentrated on providing services from Tripoli and Benghazi to Europe and the neighboring countries of Libya, as well as operating a multitude of domestic routes. By 1968, the international network included destinations like Athens, Beirut, Cairo, Geneva, London, Paris, Rome or Tunis, which were served using either Caravelle or Fokker F27 aircraft. There were interline agreements with Alitalia, Middle East Airlines and BOAC.
In 1969, the airline was renamed Libyan Arab Airlines (commonly abbreviated LAA). During the 1970s, Boeing 727s for short-haul routes and Boeing 707s for long-haul flights became the backbone of the fleet, allowing for a growing route network. Until 1986, flights to European destinations like Amsterdam, Belgrade, Bucharest, Budapest, Frankfurt, Istanbul, Madrid, Milan, Moscow, Prague, Sofia, Vienna, Warsaw and Zurich had been commenced, as well as to Algiers, Khartoum, Kuwait and Karachi.
Libyan Airlines on March 31, 1992 decision No. 748 of the United Nations Security Council in Libya suffered a setback due to the trade embargo.
When the trade sanctions were lifted in early 1999, Libyan Arab Airlines could rebuilt its international network, and order new aircraft from manufacturers like Airbus, Bombardier or ATR. Amman became the first non-domestic destination to be served again Airlines in In 2006, the airline was renamed Libyan Airlines The airline pursues an expansion policy,which is concentrated on European business and tourist customers. Newly introduced destinations like Milan, Ankara, Athens and Madrid have led to a route network similar to the one offered prior to the 1992 trade embargo.
On 31 July 2007, Libyan Airlines became a subsidiary of the state owned Libyan Afriqiyah Aviation Holding Company (LAAHC), together with Afriqiyah Airways.
As a consequence of the Libyan civil war and the resulting no-fly zone over the country enforced by NATO in accordance with the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973, all flight operations with Libyan Airlines were terminated on 17 March 2011.
On March 2012, the airline operations and flights were resumed after one year of being inactive.