An Airbus A330 belonging to Libya’s Afriqiyah Airways crashed this morning with 104 passengers and crew onboard. A Dutch boy is the lone survivor, Libyan officials say.
The airplane was on arrival to Tripoli on May 12 having departed Johannesburg on May 11. The airline says Flight 8U771 crashed on landing at 6 a.m. local time. The aircraft was scheduled to depart Johannesburg around 9:30 p.m. local time.
The airlines reports that all 11 crew members were LIbyan nationals. Additionally, 57 Dutch nationals, 8 South Africans, 2 Austrians, 2 British, and one each German, Zimbabwean, French national died in the crash. The nationality of 19 further passengers remains to be identified.
Airbus says the aircraft had completed 1,600 flight hours and 420 flights. The aircraft, MSN1024, came off the production line in September.
EASA notes that the airline had recently been subject to ten ramp inspections, none of which had identified any problems.
The airline operates three A330-200s, as well as an A300 and an A340-300 for its longhaul operations. It is also a customer for the A350 and operates three A319s and three A320s.
[Credit: Afriqiya Airways]
The aircraft was powered by GE CF6-80E1A4 engines. Afriqiyah Airways operates the A330 with 200 economy and 30 business class seats.
Airbus says it will provide support to the French accident investigation office, the BEA, which will be supporting Libyan aviation safety authorities that will have the lead in the investigation into what transpired.
With airports in Morocco shut down due to volcanic ash, there has been speculation the Afriqiyah Airways aircraft could have been affected. But an aviation safety official stresses there is no evidence to support that and that it is far too early in the process for any such claims.