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Middle East Airlines is expected to receive 10 new Airbus 321 planes as of 2019 to beef up its current fleet, the chairman of the national carrier Mohamad al-Hout said Thursday.
“The first five Airbus planes will be delivered to us in 2019 and in 2021 we will expect to receive the remaining five,” Hout told a news conference on the occasion of codeshare agreement between MEA and Turkish Airlines.
He added that the new planes will be equipped with modern equipment and Wi-Fi.
“We expect the number of satellites to increase in 2018 and this will allow our airline to offer better internet service aboard our new planes,” Hout said.
At present, MEA’s fleet has 18 Airbus planes.
MEA and Turkish Airlines (TK) signed a codeshare agreement.
The agreement will be effective as of May 15, covering routes between Turkey and Lebanon, and expanding the travel opportunities for the passengers of both airlines.
The signing ceremony took place at MEA headquarters in Beirut. Hout and Turkish Airlines deputy chairman and CEO, Bilal Eksi signed the agreement in the presence of senior officials from both sides.
“This new codeshare agreement will broaden the commercial partnership between the two companies and their respective countries. At the same time, passengers of both airlines will be given more travel options between Lebanon and Turkey,” a statement by the airline said.
Under the terms of the agreement, Middle East Airlines and Turkish Airlines will place their codes on the flights of Middle East Airlines on Beirut-Istanbul v.v. and on the flights of Turkish Airlines on Istanbul-Beirut v.v. route. Turkish Airlines will operate three daily flights on the sector Istanbul-Beirut-Istanbul, while MEA will be operating two daily flights Beirut-Istanbul-Beirut.
Hout expressed the importance of this agreement, as being a step in stimulating the economic cooperation between Lebanon and Turkey, and will enable both airlines to further accommodate the needs of their loyal passengers.
For his part, Turkish Airlines’ Eksi explained that “we are pleased to sign this codeshare agreement with Middle East Airlines and aim to improve our partnership to maximize the travel opportunities offered to our passengers through our flight networks. Moreover, we believe that this partnership with Middle East Airlines will not only maximize the travel opportunities offered to our passengers through the networks of both airlines but also bring enormous benefit from a commercial perspective.”
He further elaborated “that travelers of both airlines will experience a streamlined level of services covered by the agreement onboard two modern fleets of aircraft and he expressed his hope that this step will be the first on the way to further enhancing relations between two airlines in the future.”
MEA flies to 32 international destinations in Europe, the Middle East and West Africa.