Beirut, 28 June 2012 – SkyTeam, the global airline alliance, today welcomed Middle East Airlines – Air Liban (MEA) as its 17th member. The flag carrier of Lebanon, MEA becomes SkyTeam’s second Middle Eastern member, offering customers from the region access to an extensive global network.
From its home base in Beirut, MEA flies to 30 international destinations throughout Africa, the Middle East and Europe. MEA’s membership of SkyTeam makes it easier for customers to travel to and from Lebanon, whether it’s for business or leisure. This especially benefits the large Lebanese communities living in the US, Canada and Brazil, who will be able to connect via the major hubs Paris CDG and Rome. Beirut is served by SkyTeam members Alitalia, Air France, Aeroflot, Saudia and TAROM, providing additional connections via their hubs in Europe and the Middle East.
China has become an increasingly important trade partner for the Middle East. With members China Airlines, China Eastern and China Southern, the SkyTeam network opens up increased opportunities for commerce in the Greater China Region.
“By welcoming MEA into SkyTeam we are offering our customers increased travel options to and from Lebanon, particularly given its strong trade links with the Gulf Region, Asia, Africa and the Americas - all regions with a considerable SkyTeam footprint,” said Michael Wisbrun, SkyTeam’s Managing Director.
“Joining SkyTeam allows us to expand our global reach and offer our customers hundreds more worldwide destinations,” said MEA Chairman - Director General Mohamad El-Hout. “Becoming a SkyTeam member is integral to our strategy for growth and increased profitability as we look forward to a future of cooperation with our alliance partners.”
Effective immediately, MEA customers will be able to earn and redeem miles on services operated by all SkyTeam member airlines. Members of other SkyTeam airlines’ frequent flyer programs can also earn and redeem miles when flying on MEA operated flights.
MEA’s membership and integration into the alliance is sponsored by founding SkyTeam member Air France.
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SkyTeam is a global airline alliance providing customers from member airlines access to an extensive global network with more destinations, more frequencies and more connectivity. Passengers can earn and redeem Frequent Flyer Miles throughout the SkyTeam network. SkyTeam member airlines offer customers 503 lounges worldwide. The seventeen members are: Aeroflot, Aeroméxico, Air Europa, Air France, Alitalia, China Airlines, China Eastern, China Southern, Czech Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Kenya Airways, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Korean Air, Middle East Airlines, Saudia, TAROM and Vietnam Airlines. SkyTeam offers its 531 million annual customers over 14,800 daily flights to 983 destinations in 178 countries.
About Middle East Airlines
Middle East Airlines, the national airline of Lebanon, is one of the leading Middle Eastern carriers. From its home base in Rafik Hariri International Airport in Beirut, Middle East Airlines flies to 30 international destinations in Europe, Middle East and West Africa. Since 2003 the airline has carried out an ambitious fleet renewal program, with the addition of four Airbus A330-200s and the acquisition of four Airbus A321s and nine Airbus A320s, which make up the current Middle East Airline fleet. MEA offers its customers very luxurious services both on ground and on board, reflecting Lebanese culture and hospitality. For more information about MEA, visit www.mea.com.lb