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MEA advances Airbus deliveries schedule

Lebanese flag carrier Middle East Airlines appears to have advanced deliveries of new Airbus A321neo and A330neo jets intended to modernise its fleet.

MEA has 15 A321neos on order and states in its latest full-year accounts that it will take nine of them in 2020, with another pair in 2021.

The airline had previously indicated that – of these initial 11 A321neos – it would introduce only five in 2020 with the others spread over the following two years.

MEA also states that it will take all four A330neos in 2021, whereas deliveries had originally been split evenly between 2021 and 2022.

The airline has since committed to another four A321neos. MEA is taking the long-range A321XLR version of the twinjet and expects to receive them in 2023, its accounts show.

MEA generated a full-year profit of LL126.3 billion ($84 million) for 2018, down from the previous figure of LL145 billion.

The airline says it achieved an 8.2% increase in overall revenues to LL1.13 trillion including LL1.05 trillion in passenger revenues.

But expenditure rose at a faster rate, around 10%, to LL1.04 trillion. The carrier says the proportion of its costs associated with fuel rose from 22% in 2017 to 27% in 2018.

MEA is state-owned, with 99% of its capital held by the Central Bank of Lebanon.

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