A great caravan annually passes through Air, consisting of several thousand camels, carrying salt from Bilma to the Hausa states.
BILMA, or Kawar, an oasis in the heart of the Sahara desert, some 60 m.
The name Bilma is properly confined to the southern part of this region, where is the chief settlement, called Bilma or Garu.
North of Bilma is the town of Dirki, said to date from the 11th century.
Near Bilma is a small circular oasis, kept green by a fine spring, but immediately to the south begins the most dreary part of the Saharan desert, over which the caravans travel for fifteen days without discovering the slightest trace of vegetable life.
Gustav Nachtigal, who visited Bilma in 1870, records that the temperature during the day rarely sank below 113° Fahr.
By the Anglo-French Declaration of the 21st of March 1899 Bilma was included in the French sphere of influence in West Africa.
Turkey claimed the oasis as part of the hinterland of Tripoli and garrisoned Bilma in 1902.