Middle East: The Flying Sheik

MIDDLE EAST

Almost every country in the intensely nationalistic Arab world boasts a government-owned and subsidized airline, which proudly carries the flag but not enough of anything else to pay its way. An exception is tiny Lebanon (pop. 1,500,000), whose air travelers — and its pride — are well served by the Beirut-based, privately owned Middle East Air lines. Only a puddle-jumping outfit with a few aging DC-3s barely a decade ago, Middle East is now the world's 16th largest line—and the only profit-making airline in the Arab world. Last week it reported record...

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