Donnerstag, 27. September 2007

Beirut - May 2005

Beautiful Beirut, once called the Venice of the East, has troubled times behind (almost). In May 2005 I experienced a lively city with wonderful people, the best coffee in the world, and of course, nice airplanes.

F-OMEC is one of 3 Airbus A330-223s in service with Middle East Airlines, flagcarrier of Lebanon. They are mainly used for their services to London and Paris, but also to West Africa.

The short haul fleet consists of 6 Airbus A321s. F-ORMI was delivered in 2003 and is equipped with 31 business and 118 economy seats. They operate to European and Middle Eastern destinations.

The Boeing 707, once the backbone of the MEA fleet - 11 own examples of the type were operated, is waiting for better times at the maintenance area. OD-AHD was build for American Airlines in 1967. 30 years later MEA still operated the type but finally were phased out by the end of 1997. OD-AHD never got off the ground again after a sale to Air Gulf Falcon fell through.

The lucky catch of the day - this Ilyushin Il-62M is operated for Kazak Kokshetau Airways and at this occasion operating for the UN. UN-85506 was build for LOT, later passed on to Aeroflot and Air Ukraine before aquired by Kokshetau for VIP transports.

This Air Atlanta Cargo Boeing 747-236F was operating a flight for Cargolux. TF-ARJ started life as a passenger aircraft for British Airways and found her way to the Icelandic carrier in 2002.

Oman Air is rarely seen in Europe. They operate a fleet of Boeing 737s and ATR-42s. A4O-BT is a Boeing 737-7Q8 and was leased new from the leasing company IFLC.

Some bizjets find their way to Beirut as well - mainly Arab examples like this American registered Boeing 727-95 operated for Trans Golf Corporation, but still in the colors of former owner, Saudi Kingdom Entertainement.