After discovering damage to the fuselage of one of its aircraft that recently went to Lebanon, Greece’s national carrier, Aegean Airlines (32A), has decided to temporarily cease operations to and from Beirut.
The flight ban was put in place on January 15, 2022. After landing at Beirut–Rafic Hariri International Airport (BEY) on January 10, 2022, the airline noticed damage to the external fuselage of one of its Airbus A320 flights, according to the airline. The carrier, on the other hand, did not specify the type of damage discovered.
Meanwhile, other claims on social media, which were later taken up by Lebanese media, claimed that the jet was damaged by flying gunfire. The Lebanese minister of public works and transportation, Ali Hamie, denied that gunfire might damage the plane.
The minister released a letter exchanged among Lebanese officials on his official Twitter account on January 15, 2022, stating that authorities discovered a hole in the left rear cockpit window.
However, after examining the hole, officials found that the external airplane fuselage damage was not caused by a gunshot.
“After close examination, it was determined that [the damage, ed.-] was not the result of a bullet,” the letter reads.
هو المكان الصحيح لتصفية الحسابات السياسية وليس هكذا ننهض بلبنان عبر التصويب على مرافقه ،والتي نسعى لتفعيلها وزيادة ايراداتها ،بغية المساهمة في تحصين القرار السيادي للبنان #ارحموا_بلدكم#التقرير_الفني يدحض ما ادعاه هؤلاء pic.twitter.com/isT9BfgMUQ
— Ali Hamie | علي حمية (@alihamie_lb) January 15, 2022
“The pictures of the hole and the gate were also sent through the CEO of the World Aviation Forum (WAF) in Washington DC to the appropriate organizations who confirmed that the hole is not the result of a bullet nor Gate 15.
It was most probably caused by ground equipment before the aircraft arrival to Beruit,” it concludes.
The flight suspension should be maintained until the cause of aircraft fuselage damage has been determined.