Lebanese carrier bought for 1

DEFUNCT Trans Mediterranean Airlines (TMA) has been bought from the Banque Libano Francaise for US$1. Lebanese businessman Mazen Bsat, who also runs a pharmacy chain, has promised to settle the cargo carrier’s $60 million of debts in return for the token amount.

Bsat told the Lebanon Daily Star that he intends to keep all 200 staff and even to expand the fleet.

TMA ceased all flights on February 2004 when the Lebanese Civil Aviation Authority withdrew its air-operating certificate due to safety concerns of its five aging Boeing 707s. In addition, th carrier’s main client had been Middle East Airlines, which had decided to start sending cargo with its own new fleet. TMA was the first cargo airline in Lebanon and the Middle East.

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