There has been widespread confusion over departure times at the airline’s hub.

Middle East Airlines Airbus A320 taxiing for take off at Corfu Ioannis Kapodistrias International airport.
Photo: Media_works/Shutterstock

Lebanon’s flagship carrier Middle East Airlines, readjusted its flight schedules after the Lebanese government reversed its decision to postpone daylight savings. The airline announced the change, which focuses on its hub at Beirut–Rafic Hariri International Airport on Monday.

According to authorities, daylight saving time will start Wednesday night. Lebanon’s Prime Minister said the country would need 48 hours to fix technical issues due to the last-minute reversal.

Moved up by an hour

According to L’Orient Today, Middle East Airlines confirmed the readjustment to flight times in a statement.

“All flights departing from Rafic Hariri International Airport are rescheduled to daylight saving time from midnight on the night of March 29th to 30th, 2023. For tickets issued between March 25th and 27th, 2023 (winter time), passengers are advised to check the revised departure time based on daylight saving time.”

Airbus A321neo Middle East Airlines

Photo: Airbus

The carriers’ flights will be moved forward by one hour but will reportedly be returned to their original schedule on April 21st. According to AeroTime, the change only affects departures and arrivals at Beirut Airport. Flight schedules remain the same for all other international airports the airline serves.

Airport confusion

At the airport, the scheduling board indicated two different departure times for the exact same flight. Aegean Airlines flight 947 to Athens was reportedly listed twice, shown as departing at both 15:30 and 16:30 on Sunday.

The confusion was also shared on social media.

Peter Sleiman, a passenger headed to Beirut Airport, spoke to CNBC about arriving extra early to ensure they would not miss their flight.

“I’m going to the Beirut airport 4 hours before my flight just to make sure this nonsense doesn’t make me miss my flight,” said Sleiman. “Personally I’m following the international time (of daylight saving). There’s no way I can handle my meetings and scheduling on the time zone that they [the prime minister] wanted.”

Lebanon Prime Minister Najib Mikati and Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri announced their decision to postpone the change to summer time from March 25th to April 20th last week.

MEA A321neo

Photo: Airbus

The announcement took the country by surprise, resulting in mass confusion, mockery, criticism and allegations of sectarianism, according to L’Orient Today. Additionally, the announcement reportedly forced institutions, businesses, and residents to revise their schedules or scramble to keep up with who was or was not adhering to the change.

Following widespread backlash and confusion, Lebanon’s caretaker cabinet reversed the decision.

The Prime Minister’s response

According to Raidió Teilifís Éireann, Mikati said the initial decision was “intended to relieve those who are fasting during Ramadan,” issuing the government’s first formal justification of the move.

“I absolutely did not take this decision for sectarian reasons,” he added in remarks following a cabinet meeting called on the issue. “A decision like this should not have triggered such sectarian responses.”

On Monday, Middle East Airlines posted its summer schedule for flights departing from Beirut Airport. The flag carrier said the posting was for further clarification as the departure times are in accordance with the new daylight savings change.

Sources: AeroTime, CNBC, L’Orient Today, Raidió Teilifís Éireann


Napsat komentář

Vaše e-mailová adresa nebude zveřejněna.

You May Also Like

Airbus Helicopters Posts Strong Medevac Order Intake

Airbus Helicopters announced continuing strong sales into the U.S. medical market at…

The Complex Art of Aircraft Utilization

DALLAS – Aircraft are the most important and valuable assets of an…

Why Don’t Planes Use Reverse Thrust To Push Back?

When a plane departs an airport, its first movement will be to…

Quiz: 6 Questions To See How Well You Know Aircraft Systems

How’s your systems knowledge? 1) You’re performing an engine run-up before takeoff.…