Middle East Airlines is finally to sign a formal agreement which will take the airline into the SkyTeam alliance next year.
Beirut-based MEA has long intended to become a member of the group but its accession has been postponed by procedural discussion over issues such as its frequent-flyer programme.
SkyTeam states that MEA will sign an agreement on 28 February which will enable it to start the process towards joining in 2012.
"Customers will benefit from increased access to and from the Middle East and Western Africa," the alliance adds. MEA operates to 30 destinations.
MEA will become a full member of the alliance, a status for which the carrier had held out. Acceptance of the carrier follows a similar agreement with Saudi Arabian Airlines which will also join next year.
"SkyTeam is actively working to strengthen its presence in the Middle East, one of the world's most important economic regions," says the alliance.
Middle Eastern carriers have gradually warmed to the concept of alliance membership. Royal Jordanian Airlines is a member of Oneworld while EgyptAir is with Star Alliance.