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 Lebanon’s Middle East Airlines (MEA) chairman Mohammad Hout said Monday that MEA is losing 35 million U.S. dollars monthly due to the outbreak of COVID-19 and the closure of Beirut’s airport, the National News Agency reported.

Hout held a conference after MEA were criticized by many for charging Lebanese returnees high tickets prices without offering to repatriate expats and students on the company’s expense.

Hout explained that the evacuation is costing the company 20 million U.S. dollars while ticket prices only reflect the cost of flights.

“I am not ready to use the company’s cash in light of a crisis that we don’t know when it will end,” he said.

MEA sent four planes on Sunday to evacuate people from Saudi Arabia, UAE, Nigeria and Code d’Ivoire while it is planning to send four more on Tuesday to Kinshasa, Madrid, Paris and Istanbul.

XINHUA

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