I recently had the pleasure of visiting Lebanon. It was absolutely fantastic – the sea, the food, the people, the nightlife..and did you know that Lebanon has the best preserved Roman architecture in the world in Baalbek? I’ll have a full multi-post trip report coming soon, but first some news regarding Emirates and the country.
An A380 landed for the first time in Lebanon last week, a one-off Emirates flight from Dubai that USA Today called an “acknowledgement of the substantial passenger traffic between Lebanon and Gulf nations, where many Lebanese nationals work and more pass through to destinations farther afield.”
Emirates says it was testing to see whether Beirut’s Rafik Hariri International Airport was ready to handle regular A380 service, Lebanese officials are hoping the answer is yes! Tourism levels are currently at their highest since 2010, with the country noting 1.85 million visitors in 2017 and the industry accounts for 19% of the GDP.
The airport was last renovated after the civil war ended in 1990, designed to handle just 6 million passengers, over 8 million flew through the country’s only airport last year.
Lebanon’s Cabinet and the country’s flagship airline, Middle East Airlines, are considering two plans to expand and improve the airport’s facilities, one costing $88 million and the other $200 million. Their aim is to expand capacity to 10 million passengers annually by 2020 and then support continued growth beyond that.
A few of my favorite pictures before the full-trip reports: