Lessor BOC Aviation has delivered two Airbus A321neo aircraft on lease to Middle East Airlines (MEA) in Lebanon. The Pratt & Whitney-powered jets join three other A321neos in MEA’s fleet, taking the overall count to five A321neos.
MEA takes two more A321neos
MEA has added two additional Airbus A321neo jets. These were the first two of five on lease from BOC Aviation, a Singapore-based lessor. Robert Martin, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of BOC Aviation, stated the following:
“We are very pleased to deliver our first pair of Airbus A321NEO aircraft on lease to Middle East Airlines, with whom we share a long-term relationship that spans more than 20 years. This delivery is testament to the strong cooperation we share with industry-leading airlines such as Middle East Airlines, especially in this challenging environment. We look forward to working with our customers to provide more fuel-efficient and technologically advanced aircraft solutions in the future.”
MEA’s Airbus A321neo
MEA is a very new Airbus A321neo operator. The carrier received its first jet from Airbus‘ final assembly line in Hamburg, Germany, in early July. The aircraft is configured with room for 160 passengers. This includes 28 in business class and 132 in economy.
All seats feature access to inflight entertainment from Panasonic. The airline has also selected Panasonic for inflight WiFi connectivity. The airline took the 10,000th Airbus A320 family aircraft back in October, also an Airbus A321neo.
Where the A321neo is flying
MEA’s Airbus A321neos do short- and medium-haul missions. For example, the planes can be found flying from Beirut to cities like Dubai, Cairo, Istanbul, Jeddah, Paris, Copenhagen, and more. As the carrier takes more A321neos, these jets will likely have an expanded flight schedule.
MEA and Airbus
According to data from Planespotters.net, all of MEA’s 20-strong fleet is from Airbus. This includes five Airbus A321neos, 10 Airbus A320s, and five Airbus A330s. The airline also has a healthy aircraft order book consisting of four Airbus A330-900neos, eight more A321neos, and four Airbus A321XLRs.
MEA was the launch customer for the Airbus A321XLR. This aircraft is a longer-range derivative of the popular Airbus A321neo and will allow MEA to open up new routes in Africa and Asia. It has a 15% greater range than the Airbus A321LR. MEA has not ordered any Airbus A321LR aircraft.
What is MEA?
Middle East Airlines, better known as MEA, is the flag carrier of Lebanon. It is based out of Beirut-Rafic Hariri International Airport. The airline focuses its operations across Africa, the Middle East, and Europe. MEA is also a member of the SkyTeam alliance. It is not the only Middle Eastern member of the alliance, however, as Saudia, the flag carrier of Saudi Arabia, joined around the same time as MEA.
MEA serves a total of 32 destinations across its route network.
What is BOC Aviation?
BOC Aviation is a leasing company based in Singapore. It has 335 aircraft owned, manages another 40, and has firm orders for 180 jets, taking its overall total fleet to 555 aircraft. Some big BOC Aviation customers include Southwest Airlines, with whom the lessor signed a sale-leaseback agreement covering MAX aircraft this year, Qatar Airways, Cathay Pacific, United Airlines, Wizz Air, and others.
Are you glad to see MEA take on more Airbus A321neos? Let us know in the comments!