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MEA signals commitment to take A330neo

Lebanese flag-carrier Middle East Airlines appears to have opted for the Airbus A330neo under a long-haul fleet modernisation.

The airline’s full-year financial statement refers to commitments to 15 Airbus “Neo” aircraft, comprising 11 A321s and four A330s.

Two of the A330s would be delivered in 2021 and the other two in 2022, says the carrier.

It is already an A330 operator, with five of the type powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 700 engines. All A330neos will be fitted with the Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 powerplant.

MEA has already disclosed that it is taking 11 A321neos, and these are formally listed in Airbus’s order backlog.

Five of these A321neos will be introduced in 2020, with another three in 2021 and the last three in 2022, the airline states.

MEA’s single-aisle fleet comprises 13 A320s, of which seven are owned and six leased.

The airline’s financial statement shows that it turned in a profit of just over LL145 billion ($96.2 million) for the year ending 31 December 2017, up by 2.3%.

MEA says its revenues for the period reached LL1.05 trillion, including a 3.7% rise in passenger revenues to LL982 billion.

Sixty percent of revenues was generated by routes from Beirut to the Middle East region, and another 35% on routes to European destinations.

Operational expenditure increased by more than 6% to LL943 billion. Fuel costs rose by 27% to LL204 billion.

MEA is almost entirely owned by the Central Bank of Lebanon.

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