TMA Cargo

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Trans Mediterranean Airways
الخطوط الجوية عبر المتوسط
TMA Logo.png
IATA ICAO Callsign
Commenced operations1953-2004
Ceased operations2014
HubsBeirut Rafic Hariri International Airport
Fleet size1
Destinations15 (59 prior to February 2004)
HeadquartersBeirut, Lebanon
Key peopleMazen Bsat (CEO)
Ralph Nehme(CFO)

Trans Mediterranean Airways SAL, styled as TMA Cargo (Arabic: الخطوط الجوية عبر المتوسط‎), was a cargo airline based in Beirut, Lebanon. The airline restarted operations in 2010, following a six-year hiatus. It suspended operations once again in September 2014.[2]

TMA Cargo is a member of IATA and of the Arab Air Carriers Organization.


TMA old logo, used until 2004.

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. It acquired its first Douglas DC-4 four-engine cargo aircraft in May 1959 and its first pressurized Douglas DC-6A freighter in March 1963.

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%).

TMA Cargo Douglas DC-4 freighter operating a service to London Heathrow Airport in 1962
TMA Cargo Douglas DC-6A at Manchester Airport in 1964
A damaged TMA aircraft at Beirut Airport in 1982 during the Lebanese Civil War

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.[3]

In 2002, TMA leased an Airbus A310-304F from Islandsflug during April to November,[4] 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.[5]

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 2008, Mazen Bsat, Lebanese investor, owner and CEO of Med Airways (formally Flying Carpet), bought TMA for $1 in exchange of clearing the airlines $60 million debt.[6]

In October 2009, TMA launched renovated facilities and a new image, following this TMA also announced that they are to relaunch services.[7] They acquired an Airbus A300-600F for the new cargo operations.[8] In February 2010, the aircraft was painted in the new TMA Cargo livery.[9]


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.

Historic Fleet[edit]

TMA Cargo A300-600RF OD-TMA at Schiphol

In September or December 2014, its last aircraft was returned to lessor.[10] TMA Cargo operated the following aircraft as of December 2012:[11]

TMA Cargo Fleet
Aircraft In Fleet Comment
Airbus A300F4-622R 1
Boeing 767-300F 3 operated by euroAtlantic Airways

TMA Cargo plans to add more Airbus A300 freighters once they begin to expand.[12]


TMA operated the following aircraft before ceasing operations in 2004:

Incidents and accidents[edit]

TMA had 14 incidents and accidents, four of which had fatalities. The total fatality count during operations (1953–2004) was 20.

TMA had the following incidents and accidents until ceasing operations in February 2004;[13]

  • 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.[14]
  • 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.[15]
  • 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.[16]
  • On 3 December 1975, a TMA Boeing 747 landed on runway 15 of Athens-Ellinikon International Airport, some 4800 feet past the displaced threshold with 5000 feet of runway remaining. Application of the thrust reversers was also done later than usual. The aircraft could not be brought to a halt before the end of the runway and aquaplaned off the runway, coming to rest across a public road. The captain reported that there was heavy rain at the time of the accident and that he could see pools of water on the runway. The airplane aquaplaned, thus all braking methods did not function effectively.[17]
  • 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.[18]


  1. ^ "IATA - Airline and Airport Code Search". Retrieved 11 April 2015.
  2. ^ "Lebanon's iconic Trans Mediterranean Airways suspends operations". ch-aviation. Retrieved 11 April 2015.
  3. ^ "Photos: Boeing 707-321C Aircraft Pictures". 2002-07-13. Retrieved 2013-10-16.
  4. ^ "Photos: Airbus A310-304(F) Aircraft Pictures". 2002-11-22. Retrieved 2013-10-16.
  5. ^ [1] Archived April 29, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ [2] Archived October 12, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ [3]
  8. ^ "Naharnet — Lebanon's leading news destination". Retrieved 2013-10-16.
  9. ^ [4] Archived July 27, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ "D-AZMO EAT Leipzig Airbus A300-600 - cn 872". Retrieved 11 April 2015.
  11. ^ "Aircraft and Fleet Lists". Retrieved 2013-10-16.
  12. ^ "Tma Cargo". Retrieved 2013-10-16.
  13. ^ "Aviation Safety Network : ASN Aviation Safety Database". Retrieved 2013-10-16.
  14. ^ "ASN Aircraft accident Douglas DC-4-1009 OD-AEC Brindisi-Papola Casale Airport (BDS)". 1962-07-09. Retrieved 2013-10-16.
  15. ^ "ASN Aircraft accident Douglas C-54A-15-DC OD-AEB Koh-i-Safid Mountains". Retrieved 2013-10-16.
  16. ^ "ASN Aircraft accident Douglas DC-6A OD-AEL Mt Parnon". 1966-03-10. Retrieved 2013-10-16.
  17. ^ "ASN Aircraft accident Boeing 747-123F (SCD) Athens-Ellinikon International Airport (ATH/LGAT)". 1975-12-03. Retrieved 2018-04-21.
  18. ^ "ASN Aircraft accident Boeing 707-327C OD-AFX Beirut International Airport (BEY)". 1979-07-23. Retrieved 2013-10-16.

External links[edit]