President Aoun Just Requested To Standardize MEA Payments

Following a statement issued by the Lebanese Union of Owners of Travel and Tourism Offices to standardize the pricing of travel cards in Lebanese Pounds, the official media Office of the Lebanese President Michel Aoun responded.

Aِccording to LBCI, President Aoun requested a unifying price for airplane tickets that goes according to the Lebanese constitutional laws so that pricing remains in Lebanese Pound only.

The union filed a complaint to President Aoun explaining the Lebanese Middle East Airlines’ decision to only accept transactions in foreign currency, and not in Lebanese Pounds.

The union explained to the president that while the Middle East Airlines are selling their tickets to citizens in Lebanese Pounds, the airline is now demanding their customers to pay in dollars for the price of the ticket.

This, the union added, affects the business of travel and tourism offices. Therefore, President Aoun requested the unification of pricing in accordance with the Lebanese laws, that is, in the Lebanese pound.

According to LBCI source, the president confirmed that he will follow up with the relevant judicial references on the violations that may be committed to pricing the tickets in currencies other than the national one, and then follow up with necessary measures against the violators.

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On Saturday, February 15th, MEA announced that airlines operating in Lebanon, including MEA, will only be accepting payments in dollars.

This decision violates Article 37 of the 2020 Budget, knowing that MEA is owned by the Lebanese Central Bank.

This decision also violates two of the Lebanese constitutional laws: the Money and Credit Law and the Consumer Protection Law. The Code of Money and Credit, Article, states: 

  • All tokens made out as Lebanese money to be used in lieu of monetary tokens authorized by the law.
  • All interest-free loan bonds “to Bearer” even though they may be made out in currencies other than the Lebanese currency.

As for the Consumer Protection policy issued by the Ministry of Economy and Trade: “The general objective of the Consumer Protection Directorate is ‘to attain a modern consumer protection framework in Lebanon that safeguards consumers’ interests'”

It is to note that the Middle East Airlines has just retracted its decision to price only in dollars, reportedly upon the request of Prime Minister Diab.