MEA Chairman Justifies Pricing Tickets In Fresh USD By Claiming “All Lebanese Have Dollars”

MEA | lecommercedulevant

In an interview with Asharq Business Bloomberg, Middle East Airlines (MEA) Chairman Mohammad El-Hout tried to defend the company’s decision to accept only fresh dollar payment for tickets.

El-Hout claimed that all Lebanese intending to travel already have fresh dollars, which they plan to use to pay for hotels, restaurants, transportation. “The price of the ticket is just a small part of the budget of travel anyone has to pay when they travel,” he said.

According to El-Hout, in his opinion, everything in Lebanon is now in dollars. “Even the plumber asks for payment in dollars,” he said.

Whether that is true or not, a key issue here is that El-Hout’s own employees are suffering from low salaries. Employees, namely engineers and maintenance workers at MEA‘s Mideast Aircraft Services Company (MASCO), are only getting paid in Lebanese lira with no pay raise to their salaries before the crisis.

Not only are employees who are responsible for the aircraft safety and safety of passengers barely getting paid to survive in the economic crisis, but their salaries are also so low that they pay more just for rent and gasoline just to get to work.

Notably, the World Bank recently ranked Lebanon among the top three countries with the worst economic crises recorded since the 19th century.

Regardless, El-Hout remained adamant that Lebanese had dollars… before stating that the economic crisis and pandemic had a huge impact on the airline and that it was forced to make this decision or else close down, like many businesses in Lebanon.

While it’s not a fallacy that some Lebanese are receiving fresh USD from family members abroad who are trying to help their loved ones in Lebanon, it hardly justifies MEA‘s new decision that applies to all.

Watch the interview here:

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