OD720 From Lebanon, joined Feb 2003, 1923 posts, RR: 34 Posted (10 years 5 months 4 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 1826 times:
MEA was asked by prime minister Hariri to start working on BEY-Sao Paolo route which the chairman of the company, Mr Hout, confirmed yesterday adding that they will study the possibilities and act to the best of the company's interest.
MEA served Sao Paolo a few years ago but later dropped it. If the company goes ahead with the plan, it will need to aqcuire additional planes in the future.
If there is actually demand on this route, why doesn't Varig consided it too?
Amir From Syria, joined Dec 1999, 1254 posts, RR: 12 Reply 1, posted (10 years 5 months 4 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 1801 times:
interesting! it seems that Rafik has many interests in Brasil!
What i know is that RG was about to fly to BEY in the mid nintees but then it was dropped due to high risk of failing. Their GSA was keen to get the flights.
I hope MEA will not fly to SAO! it will be too hard to break even on this -though high demanded- but very expensive and low yield market.
If i was MEA i would rather concentrate to get a decent SPA in place with some EU majors via some MEA EU-Gateways. As far as i know the current ones are quite expensive.
Iam afraid it is the arabic dream of flying long haul! see GF, SV, MS....and others. Here often the fancy sexy part weighs more than the economical one
OD720 From Lebanon, joined Feb 2003, 1923 posts, RR: 34 Reply 4, posted (10 years 5 months 4 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 1713 times:
MEA already has an strong alliance with Air France and the french carrier is the main airline connecting South America with Lebanon.
I'm sure MEA won't act immediately because the Prime Minister thinks it's a good idea to have a direct service to South America. The company's interests are above all here and Mr Hariri is a good businessman and understands the situation well.
Amir From Syria, joined Dec 1999, 1254 posts, RR: 12 Reply 5, posted (10 years 5 months 4 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 1714 times:
I agree with you that the yields could be higher than the terrible low ones from Canada to BEY. However it will be a matter of their long range strategy.
If there is non it will be nonsense to start with one long range destination.
It would be great to have some long range dest. with decent feeder service to/from regional destinations from BEY. Remember that ethnic travel is always sort of seasonal. It is very expensive to have one or two single long haul destinations which are served 2-3 times a week. This is a dead birth seen at many small carriers.
it would be more than uneconomical to fly nonstop from BEY to SAO. A possibility is to prolong the existing LOS, Kano or Abidjan flights to SAO.
OD720 From Lebanon, joined Feb 2003, 1923 posts, RR: 34 Reply 7, posted (10 years 5 months 4 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 1691 times:
MEA's Sao Paolo (GRU) service was an extension to its West African destinations and it was operated between 1995 and 1998. Many destinations (more than a dozen) were dropped that same year to reduce cost and optimize their network. So I'm not sure if it was suspended because of low yeilds or as part of a major restructuring plan.
Amir is right saying that ethnic destinations are not always profitable ones and sometimes do not justify the costs. But who knows, since GRU will be the only direct link between South America and the Middle East, it might become a success. Then we will see Lan Chile and definitely Emirates jumping into this market.
Wunderk From Canada, joined Jun 2003, 98 posts, RR: 0 Reply 8, posted (10 years 5 months 4 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 1671 times:
I remember seeing a MEA 747 in Sao Paulo in 1997, before MEA got out of most inter-continental routes and withdrew the jumbos.
I think, at this stage, the easiest for MEA to resume Sao Paulo is to use its A330s and make one stop in West Africa. I vaguely recall they used to fly to Abidjan, but as Cote D'Ivoire/Ivory Coast has been going through civil unrests lately, they may have to pick Dakar or somewhere in Nigeria. I think Dakar is more probable because both Lebanon and Senegal are francophone countries. Also, Nigeria, as a bigger country trying to rebuild its own airline, may present more problems in granting traffic rights.
As for Middle Eastern airlines flying to South America, I recall Iraqi Airways used to fly its 747SPs to Rio. So did Royal Air Maroc. The latter flew that service until the early 1990s.
EurostarVA From Bahrain, joined May 2002, 1296 posts, RR: 8 Reply 9, posted (10 years 5 months 4 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 1663 times:
I would think a BEY-Lagos-Sao Paulo would not work as well as a BEY-Lagos-Rio de Janeiro due to the latter's historical african links with Nigeria.
Varig operated Rio-Lagos for decades until the service was suspended in the late 90's. Bellview Airlines of Nigeria started again in 1999 with a weekly A300 but that was stopped as well. In any case, I doubt Lagos-Sao Paulo would generate any traffic but in any case there are no links to South America from West Africa, so it could work well.
With no traffic rights between Africa and Sao Paulo, I dont see the route succeeding. Their best bet is to lease 2 A340's and restart direct flights to Australia and Brazil, with feeder traffic in the Middle East.
Wunderk From Canada, joined Jun 2003, 98 posts, RR: 0 Reply 10, posted (10 years 5 months 4 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 1652 times:
EurostarVA: Very interesting points in your post above. While it is possible MEA will pick Rio over Sao Paulo if it ever returns to South America, I find the general trend in recent years is for long haul flights to abandon Rio and go for Sao Paulo instead. Perhaps that's because Sao Paulo has more business traffic with Rio being more touristy.
Maybe, as you mentioned, MEA can find a cheap A340-200 or two from various airlines giving up the type and go nonstop.
Planenutz From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 1279 posts, RR: 11 Reply 13, posted (10 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 1567 times:
Didn't Iragi Airways also fly to GRU via Lisbon and then Casablanca?
A lot of people are unaware, but Brasil does have a large Arab community as well as business ties to the Middle East through the oil industry.