150 passengers deplaned, 100 stranded for Michel Aoun delegation to New York

Middle East Airlines (MEA) commercial planes sitting on the tarmac of Beirut Rafic Hariri International Airport. (AFP)

As many as 150 passengers were deplaned from a passenger flight in Lebanon on Monday after the plane was abruptly designated to commute Lebanese President, Michel Aoun to New York.

The plane belonging to Middle East Airlines (MEA), Lebanon’s national flag-carrier airline, was heading from Beirut to Cairo. Passengers were forced to disembark from the plane and, as a result, remained stuck at the airport for 9 hours.

On the other end, another 100 passengers were stuck at the Cairo airport as they waited for the same fight to take them back to Beirut. The event sparked a string of messages on social media. There were posts suggesting that the plane was confiscated to join a large fleet of four aircraft allocated to transfer Aoun and his delegation to attend the UN General Assembly meetings in New York.

Lebanese MP Paula Yacoubian reacted sarcastically in a reference to the Lebanese President on her twitter account: “The father of all, put everyone down and flew away”.

The airline apologized to the passengers that were meant to board their midday flights. Meanwhile, the presidential media office held aviation entities responsible for the defect claiming that presidential flight procedures have not changed for decades.

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Last Update: 22:36 KSA 01:36 - GMT 22:36
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