Lebanon News

MEA to reroute flights, avoiding Syrian airspace

A Middle East Airlines (MEA) airplane takes off at Beirut airport, Monday, April 20, 2015. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)

BEIRUT: Public Works and Transport Minister Youssef Fenianos Wednesday said that Middle East Airlines will temporarily halt flights over Syria over fears of a possible U.S. strike.

Speaking to local news channel MTV, Fenianos played down fears but said that in accordance with warnings from the European Aviation Safety Agency, Lebanon’s national airline will reroute its flights.

"This is no need to panic," he said. "The decision was taken as a precautionary measure.”

A source at Rafik Hariri International Airport in Beirut confirmed to The Daily Star that MEA made the decision to reroute flights bound to fly through Syrian airspace, and added that updated flight durations and routes will be announced in the coming hours.

The new routes will go into effect Wednesday starting at 8 p.m. local time, to last until Friday, local media reported.

The United States said it might strike targets in Syria following an alleged chemical weapons attack on the Syrian town of Douma over the weekend.

 

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