Virgin Atlantic has announced a new unilateral codeshare agreement with Middle East Airlines, offering seamless connections between the US and Beirut via London Heathrow.
Customers booking through Virgin Atlantic are now able to travel between US airports such as Boston, New York JFK and Los Angeles and Beirut, connecting seamlessly between the two airlines at London Heathrow Terminal 3 with a single booking reference and check in.
Juha Jarvinen, chief commercial officer at Virgin Atlantic, commented: “We’re delighted to launch this new codeshare partnership with MEA Middle East Airlines, also known as Air Liban.
“As we recover from the pandemic, partnerships are more important than ever, and we look forward to building on the incredibly successful interline relationship we have had in place for a number of years.”
He added: “With a large diaspora population of Lebanese living in the US, this new partnership aims to respond to the large, fast-growing demand to visit friends and relatives as people start to travel to visit their loved ones post Covid-19.
“We also expect to capture demand for business and leisure travel to the vibrant city of Beirut as travel restrictions begin to relax and global economies gradually recover from the impact of the pandemic.”
Walid Abillama, head of commercial strategy and alliances at Middle East Airlines, said the deal would benefit customers.
He explained: “Our interline relationship with Virgin Atlantic was the first to target the US travel market to Beirut, and so it is natural for us to partner with Virgin Atlantic and build the first US codeshare agreement targeting Beirut.”
“This new codeshare agreement will expand the commercial partnership between the two companies and their respective countries.
“At the same time, passengers of both airlines will be given more travel options especially from Boston, New York JFK and Los Angeles to Beirut and vice versa via London Heathrow Airport.
“We are hopeful that this partnership will reintegrate Beirut within the global economy as a post Covid-19 travel destination and will maintain its promise of resilience.”