Conflict & Justice

Flying on Gaddafi's "Air Force One"


A Libyan rebel lies on the bed in Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi's "Afriqiyah One" Airbus A340 plane at Tripoli airport on August 29, 2011. Libyan rebels said that strongman Moamer Kadhafi still poses a danger for Libya and the world, as insurgents closed in on his hometown Sirte a week after overrunning his capital Tripoli.



Muammar Gaddafi apparently flew first class when he traveled.

Libyan rebels, who captured Tripoli from Gaddafi's loyalist troops last week, have been offering journalists guided tours of the leader's private jet, a modified Afriqiyah Airways Airbus A340 complete with leather couches, gold-trimmed teacups, and a massive, roll-out bed.

Total cost of airplane: $150 million.

The Telegraph reports:

Like everything Gaddafi owned, the aircraft is a showcase for his vulgar tastes, with armchairs bound in silver leather, red and grey carpets on the floor and nightclub-style spotlights all over the ceiling.

Here's a video tour of Gaddafi's plane, also known as " Afriqiyah One".

"This is the first time we ride this aircraft," said one man in video, which was produced by Agence France-Presse. "We can't approach this aircraft [before]. If we approach this aircraft, the security will kill us."

(GlobalPost in Libya: Tripoli hospital helps heal the new nation)

Gaddafi's jet has been grounded at the airport in Tripoli since the launch of NATO air strikes and the imposition of a no-fly zone in March.

Now, the plane is only being used as a "lounge" for rebel fighters - who seem to enjoy spending time in Gaddafi's former bedroom.

Foreign Policy reports on Gaddafi's chamber, as well as the mirror hanging above the leader's bed:

As we stand in the bedroom, which feels like the hidden lair of evil, we're dead silent. The man who managed to stay in power for 42 years through U.S. air raids and now a NATO campaign spent his time sleeping in the air on a queen-sized bed with two pillows and a full-length mirror over the headboard (which none of the Libyan men quite get the point of, until I awkwardly explain.)

Ahmed can't contain himself and leaps straight onto the bed. "How does it feel?" one of our rebel escorts asks him.

"Very comfortable," he replies, grinning under the flashlight beams and begging me to take his picture.