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Middle East Airlines

Middle East Airlines

by Giuseppe TovarDecember 13, 2013

Middle East Airlines was founded in May 31st 1945 by Saeb Salam, with the operational and technical support of British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC). Operations started on January 1st 1946 a service between Nicosia and Beirut, continued by flights to Egypt, Syria, Iraq, and Cyprus. Two Douglas DC-3 aircraft were acquired in mid-1946. Pan Am bought a participation and management contract in September of 1949.

The current name was adopted in November 1965, when the airline was fully merged with Air Liban. Although the operations were interrupted by the War Arab-Israeli 1967, the airline restarted their operations by buying a Convair CV-990A from American Airlines, which came into service on June 24th 1969. A Boeing entered service in June of 1975 to fulfill the journey Beirut-London. The operations were interrupted again until 1990, at which time the political situation stabilized. The airline was restructured in 2001.

The airline is the national airline of Lebanon, with its headquarters in Beirut. It operates international scheduled services in the Middle East, Europe and Africa, its base of operations is located in the Rafic Hariri International Airport. It is owned, for the most part, by the Central Bank of Lebanon (99.37 %) and employs 2,310 people.

In December 2005, the airline announced that it will expand its fleet by purchasing an Airbus in 2007 and another in 2008 that meets the daily route to Paris in combination with an Airbus A330 which also meet the same daily route, to make two Airbus A330 daily.

The airline is a member of the Organization of Arab Air Transport and the International Air Transport Association. In 2007, the airline joined Sky Team alliance as an associate member through its partner Air France.

The airline will introduce automatic terminals for check-in at the Beirut international airport and will launch the regional alliance Arabesk with six other Arab airlines.

The airline is also planning to acquire aircraft with a capacity for between 50 and 70 passengers, for use in the regional routes. The types have not been determined yet, but it is assumed that would be Bombardier CRJ-700 or the Embraer ERJ-170.

Special Lounges are available at most airports served by the airline and are offered to their Cedar Class passengers as well as the airline’s Presidents club and Cedar Miles Members. For details, please check with the airline’s offices.

At the time you make your reservation, special meals can be arranged, not later than 24 hours before you depart. For children traveling alone and for handicapped passengers, special travel facilities are also available (including medical cases). For details, please check with the airline’s offices. The company’s offices throughout the world will be glad to help you regarding car rentals, hotel reservations, etc…

Registered head office and customer service contact details for this airline:

Middle East Airlines Head Office

P.O.BOX: 11-206

Airport Road,

Beirut, Lebanon 1107-2801

Call center 00961 1 629999 or 1330

We would appreciate if other passengers of the airline could share with us their reviews and feedback about this airline.

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About The Author
Giuseppe Tovar
  • anatovar
    December 15, 2013 at 5:45 am

    I recently flew using Middle East Airlines. Service from the cabin crew were efficient rather than over friendly and the food was good. They offer wines that are also of a good quality. To have the option of reserving seats two abreast at the side is a great advantage for couples travelling together. The big bonus was not having reclining seats plunging into your lap! Their seats do not recline, but are adequately comfortable for the up to five hour flight. I would recommend this airline to anyone travelling to Beirut.

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