British Mediterranean Airways resumed commercial passenger flights to Beirut on Wednesday, becoming the first Western carrier to do so since the country's only international airport was attacked by Israeli warplanes in July. BMED, as the British Airways PLC franchise partner is known, said the first flight left London's Heathrow Airport in the early afternoon. "Beirut is a very special destination for BMED. It is the route that launched our company in 1994 and since that time we have seen this route go from strength to strength," said Jonathan Grisdale, BMED's commercial director. "I am confident that despite the recent devastation, Lebanon will make a speedy return to conducting business as usual." BMED was forced to suspend its eight flights a week between Heathrow and Rafic Hariri International Airport, following air attacks that closed the airport on July 13.