Middle East Airlines-Air Liban (MEA), the flag carrier of Lebanon, has signed a memorandum of understanding for five A320neo and five A321neo jets, and has optioned eight additional A320neo-family aircraft.
MEA will announce its engine choice at a later date, according to Airbus, which announced the MEA deal at the Farnborough International Airshow 2012.
“MEA is focused on continuing to grow and improving its profitability at the same time as offering its passengers a very luxurious service,” says Mohamad El Hout, chairman-director general of MEA. “Adding the A320neo to our fleet means we can achieve all of these goals while benefitting from a 15 per cent fuel saving and cost effectiveness.”
“We’re looking forward to seeing MEA’s A320neos operating seamlessly alongside their current-generation A320 family and delivering them with savings through reduced maintenance and pilot training costs that come from the high degree of commonality between the models,” says John Leahy, Airbus’ chief operating officer, customers.
Today MEA’s fleet consists of four Airbus A330-200s, four A321s and nine A320s.
The Airbus A320neo family is a new engine option for the A320 family entering into service from late 2015 and incorporates latest-generation engines and large ‘Sharklet’ wing-tip devices, which together will deliver up to 15 per cent in fuel savings, according to Airbus.
A320neo NOx emissions are 50 per cent below ICAO CAEP/6 standards and the A320neo family also will have a considerably smaller noise footprint than today’s single-aisle jets, the manufacturer says.
Over 8,500 Airbus A320-family aircraft have been ordered to date and more than 5,100 delivered to 365 customers and operators worldwide.