Middle East Airlines
Founded on May 31, 1945, Middle East Airlines (IATA Airlines Code : ME / ICAO Airline Code : MEA), is the national flag-carrier of Lebanon. The initial operational and technical support was provided by BOAC, along with three de Havilland DH.89A Rapides. Two Douglas DC-3s were acquired later, in mid-1946. The first flight of MEA took place on November 30, 1946 between Beirut and Nicosia, followed by flights to Iraq, Egypt, Syria, and Cyprus.
BOAC acquired 49% of MEA's shares in 1955. A Vickers Viscount was introduced in October, 1955 while an Avro York cargo aircraft was leased in June 1957. On December 15, 1960, the first of four de Havilland Comet 4Bs arrived.
MEA merged with Air Liban on June 7, 1963 after the association with BOAC ended on August 16, 1961. 30% of the shares were later owned by Air France.
The fleet was modernised with the addition of three Sud Aviation Caravelles (in April 1963), three Boeing 720Bs (in January 1966), one leased Vickers VC-10 (in March 1967) and a number of Boeing 707-320Cs (from November 1967).
Although operations were interrupted by the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, MEA restarted by acquiring a Convair CV-990A from American Airlines, which entered service on June 24, 1969. A Boeing 747-200B entered service in June 1975 on the Beirut - London route.
Operations were interrupted again until 1990, until the political situation stabilised. Airbus A310-300s were acquired in 1993 and 1994, followed by an A321-200 and an A330-200, (which replaced the A310s).
The airline is now operating an all-Airbus fleet and has built a network in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and the Gulf.
Official Website (http://www.mea.com.lb/)