|Hubs||Beirut Rafic Hariri International Airport|
|Destinations||15 (59 prior to February 2004)|
|Key people||Mazen Bsat (CEO)
Trans Mediterranean Airways SAL, styled as TMA Cargo (Arabic: الخطوط الجوية عبر المتوسط), is a cargo airline based in Beirut, Lebanon. The airline restarted operations in 2010, following a six-year hiatus.
The airline was established and started operations in 1953 as a non-scheduled carrier operating cargo and passenger services. It was certified as the only Lebanese scheduled all-cargo carrier in 1959. Trans Mediterranean Airways (TMA) was the first all-cargo carrier to establish round the world services in both directions. However the Lebanese crisis adversely affected TMA growth and operation. In November 1996, following the Lebanese "Horizon 2000" reconstruction plan, the airline took measures to modernise its operations, restructure activities and increase capital to around $40 million. TMA is owned by Lebanese Air Investment Holding (99.9%) and private investors (0.1%).
In 2000, TMA introduced a new livery to their fleet. The new livery featured a white body with a grey belly, green 'TMA' and yellow 'CARGO' titles across the fuselage and new green decals on the tail.
In 2002, TMA leased an Airbus A310-304F from Islandsflug during April to November, to operate their European routes as the Boeing 707's had been banned from Europe. The airline also planned a new passenger charter airline called TMA-Leisure which would have leased an Airbus A320 aircraft to operate for Lebanese tour-operators. However, this never happened. During 2002, TMA made a $11 million loss.
TMA ceased all flights in February 2004 when the Lebanese Civil Aviation Authority (LCAA) pulled its Air Operating Certificate (AOC) citing safety concerns over its aging Boeing 707 fleet. The airline was in serious financial troubles and as a result was unable to modernize its fleet.
In September 2005, there were reports that TMA was planning to relaunch operations with a renewed fleet by acquiring medium-haul freight aircraft to replace their grounded 707 fleet, small freighter aircraft for feeder routes, and two Boeing 747-200F aircraft for long-haul freighter flights to the far east, this never happened.
In October 2009, TMA launched renovated facilities and a new image, following this TMA also announced that they are to relaunch services. They acquired an Airbus A300-600F for the new cargo operations. In February 2010, the aircraft was painted in the new TMA Cargo livery.
TMA Cargo has resumed scheduled operations to 14 destinations from their hub in Beirut. As well as the 14 scheduled destinations, TMA Cargo has also introduced charter flights on special request to various countries throughout Europe.
TMA Cargo operate the following aircraft (as of December 2012):
|B767-300 ER SF||3||operated by euroAtlantic Airways|
TMA operated the following aircraft before ceasing operations in 2004:
- Airbus A310-304F - leased from Islandsflug
- Boeing 707-320C
- Boeing 707-330C
- Boeing 747-100SF
- Canadair CL-44 - operated by Seaboard World Airlines
- Douglas DC-4
- Douglas DC-6
Incidents and accidents
TMA had 14 incidents and accidents, four of which had a fatalities. The total fatality count during operations (1953–2004) was 20.
TMA had the following incidents and accidents until ceasing operations in February 2004;
- On 9 July 1962, TMA Flight 104, a Douglas DC-4, crashed shortly after take-off from Brindisi Airport, Brindisi, Italy. The flight took off at 21:41 (GMT), however the plane struggled to gain height and began to descend followed by the plane tilting to the left and colliding with the sea. All 6 crew members were killed.
- On 12 December 1963, a TMA Douglas DC-4, flying from Kuwait International Airport, Kuwait to Kabul International Airport, Afghanistan, crashed into the Koh-i-Safid Mountains, Afghanistan. The plane was diverting to Lahore due to weather condition at Kabul. All three crew members were killed.
- On 10 March 1966, a TMA Douglas DC-6, flying from Beirut International Airport, Lebanon to Frankfurt Airport, Germany, crashed into Mt Parnon, Greece. All five crew members were killed.
- On 23 July 1979, a TMA Boeing 707-320C, on a test flight for 4 co-pilots due to be promoted to captains, crashed whilst on a third touch-and-go at Beirut International Airport. The plane touched down but then yawed right to left to right again before the wing clipped the ground causing the plane to flip and come to rest inverted across a taxiway. All six crew were killed.
- "Photos: Boeing 707-321C Aircraft Pictures". Airliners.net. 2002-07-13. Retrieved 2013-10-16.
- "Photos: Airbus A310-304(F) Aircraft Pictures". Airliners.net. 2002-11-22. Retrieved 2013-10-16.
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- "Naharnet — Lebanon's leading news destination". Naharnet.com. Retrieved 2013-10-16.
- [dead link]
- "Aircraft and Fleet Lists". Ch-aviation.ch. Retrieved 2013-10-16.
- "Tma Cargo". Tma.com.lb. Retrieved 2013-10-16.
- "Aviation Safety Network : ASN Aviation Safety Database". Aviation-safety.net. Retrieved 2013-10-16.
- "ASN Aircraft accident Douglas DC-4-1009 OD-AEC Brindisi-Papola Casale Airport (BDS)". Aviation-safety.net. 1962-07-09. Retrieved 2013-10-16.
- "ASN Aircraft accident Douglas C-54A-15-DC OD-AEB Koh-i-Safid Mountains". Aviation-safety.net. Retrieved 2013-10-16.
- "ASN Aircraft accident Douglas DC-6A OD-AEL Mt Parnon". Aviation-safety.net. 1966-03-10. Retrieved 2013-10-16.
- "ASN Aircraft accident Boeing 707-327C OD-AFX Beirut International Airport (BEY)". Aviation-safety.net. 1979-07-23. Retrieved 2013-10-16.