MEA Receives A New Milestone Airbus Plane With A Traditional Water Salute

Airbus

Lebanon’s national carrier Middle East Airlines (MEA) has the honor of welcoming the 10,000th aircraft manufactured by Airbus in the A320 family line up.

The new addition of the MSN 10,000 comes within a series of new planes expected to join MEA’s fleet, now grown to 18 Airbus aircraft.

The MSN 10,000 A321neo was “welcomed” in the Beirut-Rafic Hariri International Airport with a traditional water salute.

Over in Toulouse, the Airbus company also celebrated the new milestone of its 10,000th A320 family aircraft ever produced. The handover of the landmark aircraft took place in there in the presence of MEA Chairman Mohamad El-Hout.

“Airbus is proud to continue building its long-standing partnership with Middle East Airlines, which already operates one of the most modern Airbus fleets in the world,” said Christian Scherer, Airbus Chief Commercial Officer.

Surprisingly, in 2012, MEA was also the proud recipient of Airbus’ 5,000th A320 family aircraft.

The MSN 10,000 is the third A321neo to join the airline’s fleet just this year. In the coming months, MEA is expecting to receive six more A321neos, reported Airline Ratings News.

In 2023, MEA is slated to receive the brand new A321XLR as one of the first launch customers to operate the aircraft.

While the MEA celebrated its new acquisition at the airport, the Lebanese people weren’t so happy about it. Images of the scene of “water salute” circulated social media while fires were ravaging various areas in the country.

The firefighting trucks should have been at the sites being scorched by the wildfires.

There were also questioning comments online about the cost invested in that airplane.

The country is facing the worst economic collapse ever, is suffering from one of the most destructive blasts ever, is heavily indebted, and the Central Bank, which owns 99.50% of the MEA, is said to have $49bn in losses, as reported by the IMF.

And yet, according to Zephyrnet, an Immersive & Verticalized Data Intelligence site, “Altogether, MEA has ordered 15 A321neos, four of which will be the forthcoming A321XLR, for which MEA is pegged to be the launch customer. While the XLR won’t be delivered until 2023, MEA was keen to get its hands on the A321neos as fast as possible.”