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Lebanon And EU To Finalize Open Skies Policy  
User currently offlineBA From United States of America, joined May 2000, 11153 posts, RR: 59
Posted (10 years 2 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 5203 times:

Lebanon and the EU have agreed to an open skies policy in which European airlines would have unrestricted access in serving Beirut, Lebanon and the national carrier, Middle East Airlines (MEA) would have unrestricted access in serving all EU airports with unrestricted frequencies.

Lebanon will be the only country in the region to enjoy such a policy.

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=1&categ_id=3&article_id=10000

This will mean MEA will be allowed to increase Frankfurt (FRA) service to daily as they have been wanting to do for a long time.

MEA is still in negotiations with London Heathrow to update the necessary slots they want in order to operate LHR service daily on a year-round basis and not just in the summer. MEA currently operates 5x weekly to LHR.

This will also finally legalize Star Airlines' intention to begin 2x weekly service from Paris CDG to Beirut.

Regards


"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
37 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineEurostarVA From Bahrain, joined May 2002, 1296 posts, RR: 7
Reply 1, posted (10 years 2 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 5170 times:

Great incentive for both parties, especially Lebanon in boosting European tourist arrivals.


If there is a will, there is a way
User currently offlineBA From United States of America, joined May 2000, 11153 posts, RR: 59
Reply 2, posted (10 years 2 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 5158 times:

I agree EurostarVA. European tourist numbers already rose dramatically this year compared to last year. This will only help it further.

MEA is not very happy about Lebanon's open skies policy and believes there should be some regulation. I do agree with them.

At least this policy does benefit them though. They can operate as many flights as they want to EU countries now and as many destinations as they want.

Regards



"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
User currently offlineConcordeBoy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (10 years 2 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 5159 times:

Lebanon will be the only country in the region to enjoy such a policy.

With the EU.

There are other OpenSkies agreements active in the MidEast however.


User currently offlineBA From United States of America, joined May 2000, 11153 posts, RR: 59
Reply 4, posted (10 years 2 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 5146 times:

With the EU.

There are other OpenSkies agreements active in the MidEast however.


Yes, that's what I meant. Lebanon has had an Open Skies policy since 2000 and Dubai in the UAE has an Open Skies policy, I'm not sure about the rest of the UAE.

Those are the only Open Sky policies in the Middle East.

Regards



"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
User currently offlineBA From United States of America, joined May 2000, 11153 posts, RR: 59
Reply 5, posted (10 years 2 weeks 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 5111 times:

After thinking about it, I am sure MEA is going to be very mad at this.

Mohammed El-Hout was talking about how a foreign airline like Cyprus Airways will now be able to operate flights between Europe and Beirut.

I don't blame MEA for being disappointed...

Regards



"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
User currently offlineAirxLiban From Lebanon, joined Oct 2003, 4514 posts, RR: 53
Reply 6, posted (10 years 2 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 5083 times:

this is not good news for MEA...


PARIS, FRANCE...THE BEIRUT OF EUROPE.
User currently offlineBehramjee From Canada, joined Aug 2003, 4827 posts, RR: 44
Reply 7, posted (10 years 2 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 5070 times:

BA,

If MEA is having obtaining slots at LHR for daily operations and if there is so much demand from London and its surrounding areas to BEY and beyond on MEA, then why dont MEA explore the possibility of flying to LGW either daily or 4-5 times a week with A 321s or A 332s if getting LHR slots is a costly and time consuming procedure.

LGW slots are far cheaper than LHRs and quicker to obtain though I know its the lesser yielding airport than LHR but as long as there is demand out of London to BEY and beyond it should be ok.


User currently offlineEurostarVA From Bahrain, joined May 2002, 1296 posts, RR: 7
Reply 8, posted (10 years 2 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 5071 times:

Perhaps not good news but certainly more reason why MEA should continue on its path of competition and strive for customer satisfaction. While this new agreement might haunt MEA at the moment, it will certainly have a great overall effect for the Lebanese economy provided the goverment continues to provide an enabling environment for private sector investment in the tourism industry. We need more beach resorts, ski resorts and yearly events similar to those held in Dubai.

I wish the best for Lebanon and Beirut International Airport.




If there is a will, there is a way
User currently offlineBA From United States of America, joined May 2000, 11153 posts, RR: 59
Reply 9, posted (10 years 2 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 5069 times:

Behramjee,

MEA is able to acquire slots to make the service daily, however on days Monday and Friday (the days they do not operate), they are able to acquire slots that require an 8 hour layover in LHR. Something MEA does not want because of high costs associated with the expensive parking fees in LHR and also aircraft utilization.

LGW isn't really an option as it would be a completely new station. The costs would be as if MEA were opening an entirely new destination.

MEA is not a rich airline like Etihad, Qatar, or Emirates.

They recieve no subsidies and just started making profits a year ago.

Also keep in mind that MEA has strong interline agreements with Air New Zealand, Virgin Atlantic and a few other airlines at LHR. They want to take advantage of them.

Regards



"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
User currently offlineBehramjee From Canada, joined Aug 2003, 4827 posts, RR: 44
Reply 10, posted (10 years 2 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 5054 times:

The main ppl benefitting from this will be BEYs hotel, employment, tourism and services industry as it will lead to increased hotel rooms being filled, more services in demand by Europeans from the BEY traders, BEY airport will become even more busier thus making more revenue and creating new jobs to handle the extra rush.

MEA would and can only benefit if it had more planes to fly extra frequencies to key German and French routes which are the main money makers for the airline...especially CDG  Big grin


User currently offlineBA From United States of America, joined May 2000, 11153 posts, RR: 59
Reply 11, posted (10 years 2 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 5026 times:

I believe because of the old colonial ties between France and Lebanon. There hasn't been much restriction if any on MEA operations in CDG.

MEA has been given priority in timings and use the modern Terminal 2F in CDG. I also believe that MEA is guaranteed the use of a jetway now and they no longer have to park on the ramp periodically.

Of course, this may have changed with the closure of Terminal 2E as a result of the collapse last summer.

MEA currently has a daily A321-200 departing from Beirut at 2:05AM and a daily A330-200 departing from Beirut at 8:05AM.

When MEA acquires the 4th A330-200 they intend to order soon, they will upgrade the 2:05AM departure from Beirut to an A330-200. So they will operate Beirut service as 2x daily A330-200 instead of 1x daily A321-200 and 1x daily A330-200.

The Germany - Lebanon market simply cannot be compared to the France - Lebanon market, but it is under served.

I can't really confirm it, but I heard that Frankfurt - Beirut is MEA's highest average loadfactor route, at least it was maybe for a while.

This is why they have been desperately seeking to increase flights to daily, at least for the summer time.

Geneva (GVA) is another very very successful and profitable route for MEA. They have once or twice subbed in the A330-200 instead of the A321-200 a few months ago because of high loads.

Switzerland isn't part of the EU though, so this won't affect them. Although I don't think MEA wants to increase Geneva service, at least it wasn't mentioned.

They will need more aircraft if they want to increase frequencies on multiple European destinations.

MEA flies to FRA and GVA, both 3x weekly A321-200. In the summer, they both increase to 4x weekly A321-200.

I hope that one day MEA will de-link its single triangle route, BEY-FCO-MXP-BEY. I don't see it happening until they acquire more aircraft though.

I think it may be a wise choice if MEA discontinued MXP and code-shares with Alitalia on the route which operates 9x weekly A320-200 non-stop service (daily late night flight and weekend morning flight). That way MEA could focus on FCO and Alitalia could code-share on it.

This would make even more sense now that MEA will become a Skyteam associate member next year...

Beirut is in the need of more widebody gates. There are already plans being made to expand the airport by adding 7 gates, all of which would accomodate widebodies, yet the airport has just reached half it's capacity! The issue is simply a lack of widebody gates. Beirut is seeing a surge of widebody aircraft in the summer. Apparantly this summer they had some difficulty.

Regards



"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
User currently offlineFLYSSC From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 7422 posts, RR: 57
Reply 12, posted (10 years 2 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 4987 times:

BA,

Lebanon had already an "Open sky" in facts with most of the Middle-East Airlines/countries as some of them operate without restrictions with a 5th freedom right from BEY, including Syrian Air !

The Governement has taken this decision last year I think to boost the traffic at BEY airport, without taking care of the dangers that could result for MEA...

When this "Open sky" will be signed with the E.U, the biggest benefits will go to the European airlines that will have an unrestricted access to BEY, and will challenge badly MEA as they are much more powerful.
OK, MEA will have her Daily LHR and Daily FRA...and then ?

This may be good for Lebanon, and tourism in Lebanon but it is certainly not good for MEA as it happens to soon.


User currently offlineSoups From Ghana, joined Jun 2004, 3438 posts, RR: 14
Reply 13, posted (10 years 2 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 4983 times:

thats more competition for MEA as any EU airline can start operating routes from Bey and carrying passengers like CY to dubai AND SO ON


Next destinations, Suarabaya, beirut, paris, Accra
User currently offlineCedarjet From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 8171 posts, RR: 54
Reply 14, posted (10 years 2 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 4978 times:

Come on MEA fans, get real. (1) The Open Skies (and please use a space between the words, it's not a brand) policy will benefit Lebanon massively. Why would the Lebanese gov't avoid a policy that will benefit the whole nation just to protect an airline with nine planes?! National airlines are there to advance the national interest, not stand in the way of it. (2) MEA isn't going away just because of a few extra Lufthansa A320s flying into BEY. They flew through fifteen years of ghastly civil war, with their planes being shot at in the air regularly and a dozen 707s and 720Bs destroyed on the ground. If they can survive that they can survive anything.


fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
User currently offlineFLYSSC From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 7422 posts, RR: 57
Reply 15, posted (10 years 2 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 4907 times:

Cedarjet,

We all know, and we all agree, that this Open sky agreement will be good for Lebanon.
But MEA can't challenge the unfair competition of airlines like QR, Etihad or Emirates : Those airlines have endless backing from their governments, they don't pay for fuel and don't pay any taxes at their respective HUBS ! In that condition, it's very easy to place outstanding orders for new airliners every two weeks and to expand ever and ever...
MEA is still in a "recovery" situation, its development in the Middle East and the Gulf, a natural market is very slow and very difficult because of this unfair competition. Europe could have been a better development area.
OK MEA is a small airline with only 9 a/c but precisely because they don't have enough support from the government who prefers to waste billions of $ in stupid and useless real estate projects... (OK. That's a bit out of subject).

You are right, MEA survived 15 years of a terrible war...but the time has changed, and this "new" war MEA will have to face is from another kind... and may be even worse.



User currently offlineGigneil From United States of America, joined Nov 2002, 16347 posts, RR: 85
Reply 16, posted (10 years 2 weeks 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 4898 times:

Those airlines have endless backing from their governments, they don't pay for fuel and don't pay any taxes at their respective HUBS !

Jesus will it never end?

EK and QR PAY FOR FUEL.

N


User currently offlineBA From United States of America, joined May 2000, 11153 posts, RR: 59
Reply 17, posted (10 years 2 weeks 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 4900 times:

Lebanon had already an "Open sky" in facts with most of the Middle-East Airlines/countries as some of them operate without restrictions with a 5th freedom right from BEY, including Syrian Air !

As I have mentioned many times in this forum and once in this post, the Lebanon adopted the open sky policy in 2000. Prime Minister Rafik Hariri (no longer prime minister unfortunately) was the one who wanted it.

I agree that this is not good for MEA's interests. But as CedarJet said, it is good for the interest of the entire nation.

I do hope some measures can be taken to protect MEA. I think MEA needs to market itself more.

We'll see how it goes. In my opinion, the real dangers are the gulf carriers who are able to significantly undercut MEA's prices. Even the European carriers complain about the gulf carriers...

Regards



"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
User currently offlineFLYSSC From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 7422 posts, RR: 57
Reply 18, posted (10 years 2 weeks 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 4869 times:

EK and QR PAY FOR FUEL

Sure ...! and I am the Queen of England !!!

How much do they pay for it ??? while in BEY, the Fuel is so expensive that Air france, for example, take enough fuel in the B772 in Paris in the morning to be able to opearte AF566 and AF565 back to CDG without refueling in BEY !


User currently offlineMEA310 From Lebanon, joined Feb 2002, 660 posts, RR: 12
Reply 19, posted (10 years 2 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 4850 times:

Speaking of AF566,today's flight was cancelled.
British Airways also had their flight cancelled today,my sister was put on the MEA service to LHR.

MEA310



M5 Fastest Sedan On Earth
User currently offlineFLYSSC From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 7422 posts, RR: 57
Reply 20, posted (10 years 2 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 4837 times:

AF566/AF565 was cancelled on tuesdays during the Ramadan because of a low demand...but it was not last minute cancellations... that was in the program already a month ago.


User currently offlineBA From United States of America, joined May 2000, 11153 posts, RR: 59
Reply 21, posted (10 years 2 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 4801 times:

They do that 4 weeks of every year.


"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
User currently offlineBA From United States of America, joined May 2000, 11153 posts, RR: 59
Reply 22, posted (10 years 2 weeks 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 4792 times:

FLYSSC,

There is a good article about Emirates in the Daily Star.

I can see why many people may think Emirates gets free fuel, but many on here and several articles refute it.

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=10&categ_id=3&article_id=9714

Regards



"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
User currently offlineBA From United States of America, joined May 2000, 11153 posts, RR: 59
Reply 23, posted (10 years 2 weeks 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 4776 times:

Lebanon now has Open Skies agreements with the following:

1) United Arab Emirates
2) Malaysia
3) European Union

Does anyone know of any others?

Regards



"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
User currently offlineBA From United States of America, joined May 2000, 11153 posts, RR: 59
Reply 24, posted (10 years 2 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 4773 times:

After doing some research, last January Lebanon signed an open skies policy with Bahrain, although no airline has taken advantage of it so far.

So that means (in order of implementation):

1) United Arab Emirates
2) Malaysia
3) Bahrain
4) European Union

Any others?

Regards



"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
25 Post contains links BA : This article just came out today: http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=1&categ_id=3&article_id=10105 Certainly not good.......... Regard
26 MOE777 : why don't other south east asian airlines(SQ, TG ,) besides malaysain fly beirut?
27 BrightCedars : Gulf carriers undercutting MEA's fare? If anything we're talking about little amounts in the single digit range. Also, isn't there an overall problem
28 Post contains images BrightCedars : By the way, long before all this, I remember a rather opened agreement was in place between Belgium and Lebanon allowing Sabena and MEA (or any other
29 BA : BrightCedars, $99 fares on Etihad versus $200-$300 fares on MEA and Gulf Air from Abu Dhabi. That's two digits. Regarding the open skies, I believe an
30 Post contains images BA : MOE777, why don't other south east asian airlines(SQ, TG ,) besides malaysain fly beirut? The market is not very big, but it is growing. SriLankan Air
31 BrightCedars : BA, thanks for the hint. Isn't that however some kind of introductory fare overly restricted or to be short lived? I hope not. Does your quote include
32 Yegbey01 : I personally would rather see more flights to BEY regardless of whether it's MEA or not... I mean last summer it was impossible to find a flight to BE
33 Post contains images BA : Yegbey01, We thought you disappeared off the face of the Earth. Welcome back! BrightCedars, I don't know how long they were offering the $99 fares. It
34 Yegbey01 : BA, I have been too busy at work lately. I travelled so much in the past 6 months for work and leisure in addition to my part time graduate school wor
35 BA : That's too bad Yegbey01. I had a great time flying MEA this summer. Regards
36 Yegbey01 : BA, That was my first MEA flight since 92....I just had more expectations given what everyone has been saying...both flights were operated on A321s an
37 Cb777 : The a/c order should be coming up shortly for LN
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