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Posts: 2254
Joined: Fri Dec 21, 2001 8:44 pm

Remember MEA Operating For Paramount?

Tue Aug 24, 2004 10:42 pm

When I was about 11, we lived near Newcastle Airport (EGNT/NCL ). My mother used to take me there to watch the a/c from what used to be a good observation deck.

I seem to remember one day in particular, we must have been there at one of the busiest times of the week. Around the pier there was a good selection of aircraft, including an Odyessey Int'l 757-200, Britannia 737-200, Dan Air 737-200, British Airways BAC 1-11 500, TAT/Air France F28, Air Malta 737-200, and best of all, a Middle East Airlines Boeing 707! I believe this was operating for Paramount for some time, as I saw it passing over our house a number of times that summer.

Does anyone else remeber this a/c operating for Paramount? I remember it had something like 'New-Q' written on the forward fuselage. Does anyone have any idea which reg this a/c was? Or was it the case that they changed the NCL-based a/c a few times?

Any help would be most appreciated...! Thanx
Posts: 8196
Joined: Mon May 24, 1999 1:12 am

RE: Remember MEA Operating For Paramount?

Tue Aug 24, 2004 10:54 pm

I know MEA's 747s were used regularly by a British charter airline when fuelers in Cyprus went on strike. The MEA 747s (quite rare birds, of which more in a sec) could make Cyprus and back to northern England without refuelling. (Not the only time they were used as tankers - in the war they would fly to Cyprus from Beirut, a 20 minute hop, fill up, then fly back to BEY and the fuel would be pumped into the 707s).

The three MEA 747s were used by a dizzying variety of airlines, they were combis which made them quite unusual, and they had a few other performance related quirks that made them especially desirable, and as a result MEA could command astonishingly high rates on lease. This income basically paid the staff wages during the war when things were desperate in Lebanon (put it this way: most of the staff lived at the airport because commuting through Shia west Beirut, especially the southern suburbs thereof, was too dangerous). Shame to see those birds leave the airline.

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