Libya’s flag carrier Libyan Airlines has signed an agreement to purchase two ATR 42-500 aircraft, at an air show in Tripoli.

The ATR 42-500s are powered by PW 127M engines, and have a seating capacity of 48 and a maximum range of 840nm.

Libyan Airlines chief executive officer Captain Mohamed Ibsem said the carrier decided to purchase the ATR aircraft because of their flexibility to operate in challenging conditions and tough environments, like the Libyan desert.

“The operating costs of the ATRs, which are the lowest of the regional market, have also clearly contributed to our choice, as they will enable us to obtain an optimal exploitation, specially on low yield routes,” he said.

The order valued at $35m is expected to be delivered later in 2009.

Libyan Airlines operates passenger and cargo services within Libya and Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.