Lebanon: Passengers on national carrier forced to deplane over presidential need of aircraft

Over 150 passengers travelling on the Lebanese national carrier Sunday were forced to disembark because the country’s president needed the plane for his trip to New York for the United Nations General Assembly, reports say.

Travelers on the Beirut-Cairo route were forced to quit the plane as the national carrier Middle East Airlines commandeered the aircraft for President Michel Aoun who was to head to New York.

Passengers were delayed and put on alternative flights. The airline said it issued an apology statement to those affected by the delay.

The President uses the airline for his international trips. For his Sunday New York trip, he traveled with a large delegation made up of security personnel, advisers and journalists, as well as his wife, daughter and personal doctor, reports say.

Aoun’s office distanced itself from the plane evacuation.

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