The Beirut-Rafik Hariri International Airport is finally open again after months of being closed due to the pandemic.
On the second day of its reopening, passengers arriving in Beirut in the earliest hours of the day were welcomed in a very Lebanese way: with electricity cuts.
A Turkish Airlines flight TK828 had to make a second turn when it couldn’t land because the lights on the runway had gone off. That’s bad, even by Lebanon’s standards. After all, the country is used to a system of daily electricity cuts.
The plane was already late to depart, and also arrived later than scheduled. At least the blackout didn’t last too long like the incident in 2012 when the electricity was out for two hours, according to Al-Joumhouria.
The miserable electricity outages will continue for another two weeks, according to MP Nazih Najem, until new fuel shipments arrive. Tourists and expats better bring along some candles and lanterns.
Currently, the government is hoping that reopening the airport will bring in tourists (and their money) to boost the ailing economy. Travelers are now allowed to bring in up to $15,000 with reportedly a 5-min process of declaration.
Disclaimer (July 3rd, 2020 6:31 pm): The General Directorate of Civil Aviation made a statement denying this, claiming it’s an attempt at undermining tourist confidence. However, passengers on board the flight reported that the cause for aborting landing was due to the electricity cut at the runway: