July 27, 2021

Lebanon’s cash-strapped army sells helicopter rides during economic crisis

HAMAT AIR BASE, Lebanon, July 9 (Reuters) – Hit by the collapse of Lebanon’s economy, the army has started selling rides on its helicopters to finance their maintenance, a measure of the depth of the financial troubles facing the country.

“The war we are in is economic and therefore requires unconventional means … and the idea we had was to do helicopter tours,” Colonel Hassan Barakat, an army spokesman, said.

“The cost of these trips secures the essential maintenance of the planes.” A 15-minute rides on an army Robinson R44 training helicopter costs $150.

Lebanon is suffering from what the World Bank has described as one of deepest depressions in modern history. The currency has lost more than 90% of its value in less than two years and more than half the population has sunk into poverty.

An aerial view shows port of Batroun during a tour by the Lebanese air force in Batroun, Lebanon…

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