• Joe Breitfeller

MEA Celebrates Delivery of First A320neo Family Aircraft Powered by Pratt & Whitney GTF Engines

Middle East Airlines – Air Liban announced on Friday the delivery of their first Airbus A320neo family aircraft, an Airbus A321neo. The carrier placed an order for nine aircraft in 2018 and the new A321neo is powered by Pratt & Whitney GTF engines.


MEA Airbus A321neo - Courtesy Middle East Airlines

Yesterday (July 10, 2020) Middle East Airlines (MEA) – Air Liban announced the delivery of the first on nine Airbus A320 Family aircraft ordered in 2018, an Airbus A321neo. The new aircraft is powered by Pratt & Whitney’s highly efficient GTF engines and outfitted with a state-of-the art IFE system by Panasonic Avionics. This year Lebanon-based MEA is celebrating 75 years of flight and the carrier currently operates nine A320ceos powered by Pratt & Whitney V2500 engines. Middle East Airlines has operated P&W powered aircraft since 1963. In Friday’s announcement, MEA’s Chairman-Director General, Mohamad A. El-Hout said,


“We are thrilled to take delivery of our first A320neo aircraft and to offer our passengers a quieter, more comfortable flight experience. The architecture of the GTF engines enable the economics we need as the industry begins to enter recovery.”


Also commenting on Friday’s delivery, Pratt & Whitney’s Chief Commercial Officer, Rick Deurloo added,


“This delivery marks another significant milestone in Middle East Airlines 75th year. We are honored that MEA has operated Pratt & Whitney powered aircraft since 1963 and has selected the GTF engine to power their next-generation fleet.”


Pratt & Whitney’s extraordinarily successful GTF engines were introduced in 2016 and have lived up to their promise of reducing fuel burn by 16%, noise footprint by 75% and nitrogen oxide emissions by 50%, compared to the regulatory standard.


A division of Raytheon Technologies Corporation (NYSE: RTX), Pratt & Whitney is a global leader in the design, manufacture and service of aircraft and helicopter engines and auxiliary power units (APUs) for commercial, military, regional, business and general aviation aircraft. Pratt & Whitney is known for their innovative technologies such as the Geared Turbofan (GTF) commercial aircraft engine and the PW800 business jet engine. In 2020, the company is celebrating their 95th year in business.


In a separate announcement on Friday, MEA stated that Panasonic Avionics has been selected to provide inflight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) systems for 15 of their Airbus A321 aircraft, with nine A321neos becoming the first connected aircraft in the MEA fleet. The carrier has selected Panasonic Avionics’ eX1 system which include elegant full HD seatback screens with touch displays and handsets as well as USB power at every seat. The aircraft will also be fitted with Panasonic’s inflight Wi-Fi service offering next-generation connectivity and high speed video streaming. The system is powered by a new satellite modem offering bandwidth up to twenty times greater than previous generation systems. In yesterday’s announcement, Panasonic Avionics’ Chief Executive Officer, Ken Sain said,


“We are delighted to be partnering with Middle East Airlines to enhance the passenger experience on their A321neo family aircraft with our world-class inflight entertainment and connectivity. The Middle East is a dynamic and strategically important region for Panasonic Avionics.”


Panasonic Avionics and is the world’s leading supplier of IFEC systems. The company was established in 1979 and is a division of the Panasonic Corporation of North America, based in Lake Forest, California. Panasonic Avionics has delivered over 15,400 IFE systems and 2,500 inflight connectivity solutions to leading airlines worldwide.

Established in 1945 Middle East Airlines – Air Liban (MEA) is a private commercial company and one of the major air carriers in the Middle East Region. Based at Rafik Hariri International Airport in Beirut, MEA operated flights to 32 international destinations in Europe, the Middle East and West Africa. MEA’s fleet consists of 19 Airbus A320/320neo Family aircraft. The airline is a member of the SkyTeam global alliance serving 1150 destinations in 177 countries.


Source(s): Middle East Airlines – Air Liban (MEA), Pratt & Whitney

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