Middle East Airlines (MEA) announced that the newest addition to its Airbus planes will land at the Beirut-Rafik Hariri International Airport this week.
The MEA Public Relations Department invited media agencies to cover the first landing of its new aircraft, the A321neo, at the Beirut airport.
The event will take place on Friday, July 10th, at 3:30 PM, under the patronage of Minister of Public Works and Transport Michel Najjar.
The narrow-body jet-airliner, which can carry up to 240 passengers, will arrive from Hamburg, Germany, where it was manufactured.
This comes after an MEA technical team was sent to the city to perform a test flight of the aircraft.
One of the features offered to passengers by the A321neo model, which made its first flight in 2016, is inflight Internet. Travelers aboard this plane will also notice that it is less noisy than other planes thanks to its advanced, ecological engine.
The engine is also more fuel-efficient than older Airbus iterations and saves around 15-20% more fuel than the older models of the A320ceo family.
The chairman of the board of directors and the director-general of Middle East Airlines, Mohamad El-Hout, told LBCI, “We can’t stop dreaming and improving, despite all hardships,” implying the prevailing economic challenges in Lebanon.
It’s worth noting that the ongoing pandemic has also been particularly detrimental to the international airline industry. It is expected to have incurred around $100 billion of loss by 2021, according to the global airline industry group IATA.
Nonetheless, El-Hout revealed that the A321neo is only one of nine planes that the MEA purchased back in 2012 and will receive from Airbus, one of the world’s largest airliner manufacturers, throughout 2020.
This step, he said, represents “a flicker of hope for Lebanon and proof of the desire to endure.”
The announcement by Lebanon’s flag-carrier comes around a week after the country reopened its international airport for commercial flights.