Middle East Airlines (MEA) Chairman Mohamed Hout announced this week that the preliminary results of 2000 showed a reduction in operating costs by $4 million despite an increase of $16 million in fuel expenses, while employees’ salaries and miscellaneous expenses totaled $4 million.
In 1998, the new management was able to reduce MEA’s losses to $43 million from $87 million in 1997 after cutting the number of flights and closing several international offices. According to Hout, the airline, which has a fleet of nine leased Airbus planes, accounted for 850,000 out of the total 2.25 million passengers that landed at Beirut Airport last year.
The chairman also expressed his reservations about the government’s open skies policy and maintained his stance of not expanding MEA’s fleet at this stage. — ( Banque du Liban et d'Outre-Mer Sal )
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )