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French Version


MEA plans to resume flights - from Damascus

Middle East Airlines (MEA) will resume flights from Damascus to certain destination as of Friday to serve all the Lebanese and foreigners stranded in Syria, the chairman of the airline, Mohammad Hout, said on Wednesday. MEA flew all of its nine Airbus planes to Jordan and Cyprus from Rafik Hariri International Airport after the runways were bombarded by Israel jets a week ago.

Thousands of Lebanese, Arabs and other foreigners fled Lebanon to Syria to escape the intense fighting.

MEA said in a statement that its planes would fly to Frankfurt, Riyadh, Paris, Jeddah, Kuwait City and Dubai.

"This is a temporary measure and we hope to resume flights from Beirut once the fighting ends," Hout told The Daily Star.

The chairman added that MEA may resume flights from Cyprus soon if the situation remained the same.

Hout said that MEA agreed with the Syrian authorities to allow the carrier to use Damascus airport for at least 10 days and until the war ends.

The chairman said MEA incurred losses from the war but refused to disclose any figures.

The airline had been counting on the tourism season this summer to boost its revenues.

Before the war broke out, MEA reported good results in the first six months of the year as more and more tourists booked flights aboard the national carrier.

Beirut 20-07-2006
Redaction
The Daily Star



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