MEA - Middle East Airlines (ME, Beirut) has become the A321neo(XLR)'s launch airline customer following the signing of a firm order agreement for four of the type during the 2019 Paris Air Show at Paris Le Bourget.

Although no details concerning delivery dates were revealed, Airbus (AIB, Toulouse Blagnac) has said it expects the ultra-long-range narrowbody jet to enter into service from 2023 onwards. It will use the aircraft to open up new routes to Africa and Asia.

The quartet of XLRs will compliment the eleven other A321neo MEA has on order which are standard variants and whose deliveries will start in 2020. The Lebanese airline also has conversion rights to the A321neo(LR) for those orders.

MEA currently operates thirteen A320-200s and five A330-200s. The widebody jets will be replaced with four A330-900s of which two will arrive in 2021 and two in 2022.