File - A middle east airlines (MEA) airplane is seen in the tarmac of Rafik Hariri International Airport in Beirut, Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012. (The Daily Star/Hasan Shaaban)
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Lebanon's Middle East Airlines said the war in Syria has wiped out a revival in tourist flows that had built since the end of the country's own conflicts, with first-quarter passenger numbers down 7 percent.MEA posted net income of $63 million last year, beating the 2012 figure of $61.5 million after a $14 million one-time gain from plane sales, Chairman Mohammad al-Hout said. Founded in 1945, MEA was once one of the Arab world's top airlines, with Pan-Am, British Airways precursor BOAC and Air France all holdings stakes.MEA will open a route to Khartoum, Sudan, this summer, with two flights a week, Hout said, and the chairman anticipates growth on its services to Iraq.
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