Middle East Airlines

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Middle East Airlines

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Image:Mea.arp.750pix.jpg
Middle East Airlines Airbus A330-200

Middle East Airlines is the national flag-carrier airline of Lebanon, based in Beirut. It operates scheduled international services in the Middle East, Europe and Africa. Its main base is Beirut International Airport (BEY).

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Code Data

  • IATA Code: ME
  • ICAO Code: MEA
  • Callsign: Cedar Jet
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History

The airline was established on 31 May 1945, with the initial operational and technical support by BOAC, along with three de Havilland DH.89A Rapides. Operations started on 1 January 1946 with a service between Beirut and Nicosia, followed by flights to Iraq, Egypt, Syria, and Cyprus. Two Douglas DC-3s were acquired in mid-1946. Pan Am acquired a stake and management contract in September 1949.

Pan Am were replaced when BOAC acquired 49% of MEA's shares in 1955. A Vickers Viscount was introduced in October 1955 while an Avro York cargo aircraft was leased in June 1957. On December 15 1960, the first of four de Havilland Comet 4Bs arrived. After the association with BOAC ended on 16 August, 1961, MEA was merged with Air Liban on 7 June 1963 which gave Air France a 30% holding, since relinquished. The full title was then Middle east Airlines Air Liban. In 1963 it also took over Lebanese International Airways. The fleet was modernised with the addition of three Sud Aviation Caravelles, in April 1963; three Boeing 720Bs, in January 1966; one leased Vickers VC-10, in March 1967; and a number of Boeing 707-320Cs, from November 1967.

Its present title was adopted in November 1965 when the airline was completely merged with Air Liban. Although operations were interrupted by the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, MEA restarted by acquiring a Convair CV-990A from American Airlines, which entered service on June 24 1969. A Boeing 747-200B entered service in June 1975 on the Beirut - London route. Operations were interrupted again until 1990, until the political situation stabilised. Airbus A310-300s were acquired in 1993 and 1994, followed by an A321-200 and an A330-200, (which replaced the A310s). The airline was restructured in 2001. It is owned by Banque Central (99.37%) and employs 2,310 staff.

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Services

Middle East Airlines operates services to the following international scheduled destinations (at January 2005): Abidjan, Abu Dhabi, Accra, Amman, Athens, Cairo, Dammam, Doha, Dubai, Frankfurt, Geneva, Istanbul, Jeddah, Kano, Kuwait, Lagos, Larnaca, London, Milan, Paris, Riyadh, Rome and Sharm el Sheikh.

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Fleet

The Middle East Airlines fleet consists of the following aircraft (at June 2005):

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External Links

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News

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  • Sabre Airline Solutions Appointed Technical Service Provider for ... - Business Wire (press release)
  • Virtually the World - Internet Travel News (press release)
  • Arab alliance Arabesk takes form - Flight International
  • Arabesk Group heads for greater support - e-Travel Blackboard (press release)
  • ATW Daily News - ATWOnline
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Related articles

Image:Wikipedia-small.png Wikipedia article about Middle East Airlines (search). This article uses material from that article.
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