Middle East Airlines pays tribute to former boss killed in Beirut explosion

Published: 6 August 2020 - 5 a.m.

Lebanon’s national flag carrier, Middle East Airlines, has paid tribute to its former general manager, who was killed in the explosion in Beirut on Tuesday.

Youssef Abdullah Lahoud passed away when thousands of tonnes of ammonium nitrate ignited in Beirut port, causing massive damage across the city. At least 135 people were killed in the explosion and more than 4,000 injured.

A tribute on social media from Middle East Airlines said the chairman and board members are mourning “one of its senior pillars”.

“Former general manager of the company…who has passed to his mercy due to the catastrophic explosion that took place in Beirut Harbour,” the post said.

Mr Lahoud held several key leadership positions during his 38 years at the airline before retiring in 1998.

The tribute said Mr Lahoud had served the company “with dedication and sincerity and played a key role alongside chairmen of the board of directors… by developing the company and its rise to globalism during periods of prosperity and maintaining its continuity during the war phase”.

“He also kept pace with all the stages of the company even after his retirement… We extend our sincere condolences from the family of the deceased,” the tribute added.

Despite the devastation across the capital, flights in and out of Beirut are continuing to operate as normal. Beirut’s airport suffered some damage even though it is some 10 kilometres from the port, where the blast took place.

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