An average of Eight parked MEA aircraft are damaged annually by celebratory gunfire, but this is the first time one was shot while airborne says the airline’s CEO

Photo showing the bullet hole from inside the MEA Airbus 320

Beirut has a stray bullet problem, and it’s creating a concerning threat to air safety. On Thursday, an Airbus A320-200 was approaching the nation’s capital city for landing when a bullet punctured the fuselage, causing damage to the aircraft. Fortunately, the stray bullet missed passengers seated only a few feet from the impact site in seats 2D and 2F.

The stray bullet punctured the fuselage just above seats 2F & 2D where a Lebanese politician was seated

Celebratory gunfire is a common way of marking festive occasions in many Middle Eastern cultures. However, in a crowded city environment, the rain of bullets poses many threats to air and civilian safety.


At the end of 2020, festive new year’s gunfire left a female Syrian refugee dead and damaged new MEA aircraft parked on the tarmac at Beirut-Rafic Hariri International Airport. “These practices of shooting in the air in Lebanon must be stopped … it is a source of danger to air traffic and the airport,” MEA Chairman Mohamad El-Hout told Reuters.

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