Middle East Airlines (MEA) aircraft parked in Beirut Airport were damaged by a stray of bullets fired during the New Year celebration.
On January 1, 2021, four brand new MEA aircraft parked at Beirut Rafic Hariri International Airport (BEY) in Lebanon were damaged by bullets fired as a New Year’s celebration. One of the airplanes reportedly had to be removed from service to be repaired while others were back on the scheduled flights.
Reportedly, it was three new MEA Airbus A321neo planes and an A330 that were damaged, reported the Lebanon news site The961.
Prior to the New Year’s celebration, the director of Beirut Airport Security Service requested the Interior Ministry to prohibit the potentially dangerous tradition.
Shooting from guns and rifles is a common way of celebrating in Lebanon. It is used during weddings, birthdays and big holidays, including the New Year. While officially illegal, it remains widespread.
In October 2020, MEA took delivery of its newest Airbus A321neo aircraft, expanding its fleet to a total of 19 Airbus aircraft. Previously, the national flag carrier of Lebanon received two other A321neo jets between July 9 and July 30, 2020.