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May and June saw two airlines based in the Middle East/Gulf joining the SkyTeam. Saudia joined on May 29th and Middle East Airlines (MEA) on June 28th, 2012. MEA is a relatively small airline operating a fleet of 17 aircraft and is based in Beirut, Lebanon.

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As the airline is now a full SkyTeam member, earning miles on other SkyTeam frequent flier programs on MEA flights as well as using miles for MEA flights should be possible. Not sure, how long it is going to take Delta to update their website, as they still seem not to be aware of the fact that Saudia joined the SkyTeam more than a month ago.

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The number of destinations the airline currently serves in Middle East, Africa, Europe, and Gulf is around 30. The airline operates two routes to Iraq that should make Baghdad and Irbil easier to reach using SkyTeam.

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Beirut is a wonderful summer destination to visit. I have been there twice, and have flown in once on MEA from Istanbul. When I was there last time three years ago, there were still some signs in the downtown area about the brutal civil war that the country went through. The new downtown area that was being built looked very nice, however.