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Lebanon's State-Owned Carrier Reverses Move to Charge in Dollars

Lebanon's State-Owned Carrier Reverses Move to Charge in Dollars

Sunday, 16 February, 2020 - 12:45
A Lebanese Middle East Airlines (MEA) Airbus A320-200 plane flies over Beirut, Lebanon January 12, 2017. REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir/File Photo
Beirut- Asharq Al-Awsat

Lebanon's state-owned carrier Middle East Airlines (MEA) reversed a decision to accept payment only in US dollars after a backlash on Sunday.

The decision was taken as Lebanon grapples with a foreign currency liquidity crisis that has led the Lebanese pound to lose more than a third of its value against the dollar.

News of the decision, which was first reported late on Saturday, drew dozens of people to MEA's ticket office at Beirut’s Rafik Hariri International Airport where they tried to buy tickets in Lebanese pounds before the decision was due to take effect on Monday.

President Michel Aoun said airfares should be priced in Lebanese pounds in line with the law.

Writing on Twitter, MP Fouad Makhzoumi said the move put the Lebanese under effective “house arrest” and must be canceled.

Before reversing its decision, MEA said it would accept bank cards and cheques as long as they were issued in foreign currency.

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