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Tue 23 Mar 2004 04:00 AM

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MEA postpones SkyTeam entrance

Middle East Airlines has been forced to delay its entrance into SkyTeam, as the alliance has yet to finalise the rules for its membership.

Middle East Airlines (MEA) has delayed its entrance into the SkyTeam alliance, as the airline grouping has yet to decide what form the carrier’s membership will take. The Lebanese flag carrier was meant to join the Air France/Delta Airways-led alliance in April, but it will now be a further couple of months before the carrier is accepted.

The problems about MEA’s membership surround the fact that the carrier will be a ‘full partner’ of the alliance rather than a ‘full member’. What this difference means in practical terms is as yet unclear, but it is likely that MEA will not have a full vote, if any, in the alliance. However, passengers may see such benefits as access to SkyTeam departure lounges and frequent flyer points when flying on SkyTeam carriers.

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