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MEA Planning To Acquire More Aircraft  
User currently offlineBA From United States of America, joined May 2000, 11153 posts, RR: 59
Posted (9 years 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 4599 times:



The national carrier of Lebanon currently has an extremely modern fleet of 9 aircraft consisting of 6 Airbus A321-200s and 3 Airbus A330-200s.

For about a year now, it's been rumored that MEA is eyeing a 4th A330-200 to allow them to increase their Paris service from the current daily A321-200 and daily A330-200 to twice daily A330-200.

This aircraft addition will also allow them to increase frequencies on other markets.

Well this rumor was officially confirmed by MEA's CEO, Mohammed El-Hout a couple days ago.

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article....n_id=1&categ_id=3&article_ID=19178

While the article does not specify any details, this additional aircraft will indeed be an A330-200.

We should hear an order for this aircraft soon.

I have also heard about plans to acquire a couple additional narrowbody aircraft in the future, but these are at a later stage.

There are plans to create a joint Lebanese/Syrian regional airline operating two 50-seat turboprops called Phoenician Airlines. They are looking at either Dash 8-300s, ATR 42/72s, or AN-140s.

Initially it will operates flights between Beirut and Damascus as well as to Aleppo from both Beirut and Damascus. At later points, the airline will operate flights to Iraq, Jordan, Egypt, Turkey, and Cyprus.

It will be 25% owned by MEA, 25% owned by Syrian Air, and the remaining 50% will be owned by private investers (Lebanese, Syrian, and others).

MEA will be one of the eight Arab airlines forming the regional airline alliance, Arabesk which will be launched early next year.

I think it is very possible that MEA will become A350 customer in the future. Especially if it plans flights to North America one day...

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http://www.mea.com.lb

Regards


"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
34 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offline777ER From New Zealand, joined Dec 2003, 12210 posts, RR: 18
Reply 1, posted (9 years 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 4570 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
FORUM MODERATOR

I'm expecting this order to be in airbuses bag already. Maybe a few A350s to replace the A330s, even thou the A330s are not that old

User currently offlineBA From United States of America, joined May 2000, 11153 posts, RR: 59
Reply 2, posted (9 years 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 4561 times:

Quoting 777ER (Reply 1):
Maybe a few A350s to replace the A330s, even thou the A330s are not that old

Like I said, it's an order for one A330.

Their three A330s were delivered in summer 2003. It's not even time to be thinking about replacing them.

Regards



"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
User currently offline777ER From New Zealand, joined Dec 2003, 12210 posts, RR: 18
Reply 3, posted (9 years 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 4557 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
FORUM MODERATOR

Quoting BA (Reply 2):
Their three A330s were delivered in summer 2003. It's not even time to be thinking about replacing them.

Airbus could offer them some A350s instead of A330 orders. MEA could order more then one A330 thou later


User currently offlineBA From United States of America, joined May 2000, 11153 posts, RR: 59
Reply 4, posted (9 years 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 4537 times:

Quoting 777ER (Reply 3):
Airbus could offer them some A350s instead of A330 orders. MEA could order more then one A330 thou later

MEA needs the 4th aircraft soon.

The first A350 won't be delivered until 2010, so the order will have to be an A330.

In the future, they can order A350s as part of a big expansion.

Regards



"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
User currently offlineLeskova From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 6075 posts, RR: 70
Reply 5, posted (9 years 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 4523 times:

Quoting 777ER (Reply 3):
Airbus could offer them some A350s instead of A330 orders.

They could, and I don't think that the A350 won't be mentioned in the negotiations - but, as BA says, this is more about what MEA needs now: and with the fleet they currently have, they can easily last several years, if they stopped wanting to have a very new fleet they could even last quite a bit above a decade with their current fleet.

There's no necessity for them to abandon their current fleet already, they have more than enough time to decide when and whether they want A350s - at the moment, it seems, they're more interested in achieving a steady. sustainable, growth than in headline-grabbing orders.

Regards,
Frank



Smile - it confuses people!
User currently offlineOD720 From Lebanon, joined Feb 2003, 1925 posts, RR: 32
Reply 6, posted (9 years 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 4494 times:

The political climate nowadays signals that MEA may be allowed to fly to North America once again so they may need an additional plane or two.

User currently offlineYegbey01 From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 1729 posts, RR: 3
Reply 7, posted (9 years 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 4426 times:

if everything falls in place, you should see MEA aircraft blessing the runways of YUL, JFK and DET probably in 06.

It's maybe time for a couple of A332's and hopefully A319s which I think MEA needs so bad.


User currently offlineMD90fan From Bahamas, joined Jul 2005, 2931 posts, RR: 7
Reply 8, posted (9 years 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 4330 times:

Could a route to JFK or YYZ work in the future?


http://www.devanwells.blogspot.com/
User currently offlineBrasuca From Brazil, joined Mar 2004, 717 posts, RR: 10
Reply 9, posted (9 years 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 4263 times:

Is the current fleet owned by MEA or are the aircraft leased?

Quoting BA (Thread starter):
I think it is very possible that MEA will become A350 customer in the future. Especially if it plans flights to North America one day...

And to Brazil !!!  bigthumbsup 
When MEA carried out studies about flying to Brazil, I remember they claimed the route would get losses in the first three years. So, couldn't they order the A350 for 2010 aiming to restart flights to Brazil and Australia?



Varig, Varig, Varig
User currently offlineBA From United States of America, joined May 2000, 11153 posts, RR: 59
Reply 10, posted (9 years 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 4220 times:

Quoting OD720 (Reply 6):
The political climate nowadays signals that MEA may be allowed to fly to North America once again so they may need an additional plane or two.



Quoting Yegbey01 (Reply 7):
if everything falls in place, you should see MEA aircraft blessing the runways of YUL, JFK and DET probably in 06.

I think this is a bit optimistic Yegbey01.

I don't see US flights happening for a long time, for other political issues you probably are aware of.

However, I could see Canada flights happening.

Quoting MD90fan (Reply 8):
Could a route to JFK or YYZ work in the future?

YUL is the likely candidate for Canada as it has an extremely large Lebanese population. MEA has mentioned in the past its interest to serve Canada at some point in the future.

MEA would like to serve JFK, but the current politics aren't going to allow them to do so and I think it'll be a while before it changes.

Quoting Brasuca (Reply 9):
Is the current fleet owned by MEA or are the aircraft leased?

The 6 A321s are owned, while the 3 A330s are leased. This 4th A330 will be either owned or leased depending on the market conditions.

Quoting Brasuca (Reply 9):
And to Brazil !!!
When MEA carried out studies about flying to Brazil, I remember they claimed the route would get losses in the first three years.

This is correct which is why I think they backed out of the idea.

Quoting Brasuca (Reply 9):
So, couldn't they order the A350 for 2010 aiming to restart flights to Brazil and Australia?

Perhaps, and they have time to think about it. I do see them ordering the A350 one day, but I think it will be a while before they do so.

I should also mention that next month, MEA is increasing frequencies on Riyadh (RUH) and Abu Dhabi (AUH) from 4x weekly to 5x weekly. This is certainly good news, especially RUH. The Saudi government has restricted MEA to only 4 weekly flights, but it seems they've increased it to 5 weekly.

I know one of the goals of acquiring the 4th A330-200 is to free up the A321-200 that operates the red-eye Paris flight. Instead, this A321-200 will be used to increase frequencies on its Gulf routes and the A330-200 will also be used to increase frequencies when it is not flying to Paris.

Mohammed El-Hout mentioned that MEA's future expansion plans are focused on increasing frequencies on the Gulf routes which are very profitable for them.

Regards

[Edited 2005-10-15 21:44:32]


"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, 7415 posts, RR: 57
Reply 11, posted (9 years 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 4197 times:

Keep on dreaming Guys....

More likely to see MEA's Airbus landing on the moon rather than in North America
I pay Champagne to all of you if any regular MEA flight lands in YUL/DTW/JFK/GIG/GRU/SYD in 2006 ... champagne 

Quoting Yegbey01 (Reply 7):
hopefully A319s which I think MEA needs so bad.

THAT makes sense !
MEA needs definately to increase its short/medium haul fleet with A318/A319/A320 to increase frequencies of its flights to the Gulf and use the A332 to Europe & West Africa.


User currently offlineBA From United States of America, joined May 2000, 11153 posts, RR: 59
Reply 12, posted (9 years 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 4139 times:

Quoting FlySSC (Reply 11):
THAT makes sense !
MEA needs definately to increase its short/medium haul fleet with A318/A319/A320 to increase frequencies of its flights to the Gulf and use the A332 to Europe & West Africa.

Unfortunately it seems like additional narrowbody aircraft are still a long ways off. The rumor about MEA acquiring a 4th A330 has been roaming for quite a while and now it is confirmed.

The rumor about MEA acquiring 1 or 2 narrowbody aircraft is new and it seems like it won't materialize for a couple years.

Regards



"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
User currently offlineOD-BWH From Kuwait, joined Jan 2002, 399 posts, RR: 2
Reply 13, posted (9 years 6 days ago) and read 4122 times:

Hi,
I've read in an interview Al-Hayat Newspaper had with Hout that the airline is financially able to purchase two more aircraft, but don't think they are willing to do so in the current situation. He's even said that, unlike other airlines in the region (probably meaning EK, QR and EY), the airline will not acquire equipment before securing the proper utilization of them.

Quoting 777ER (Reply 1):
I'm expecting this order to be in airbuses bag already. Maybe a few A350s to replace the A330s, even thou the A330s are not that old

When they did the deal, MEA purchased the A321's since they fit the short-haul market strategy for the airline, while leasing the A330's. This is due to the fact that its long-haul market strategy was still not finalized, and this would have been done should they've secured a buyer or joined an alliance. Failing to do so, or at least, say due to the current situation in Lebanon, things might go in a different direction. Who knows! So even if they're interested in the A350, the A330's shouldn't be a problem at all!

Quoting Yegbey01 (Reply 7):
and hopefully A319s which I think MEA needs so bad.

I beleive the A319 don't fit the provisions of carriers in the middle east. the sector in this area is different than that in Europe or the US. Passengers in the ME seek to fly with luxury, having PTV's, onboard meals, and more utilities... Flying an A319 in such prospects is not so profitable I guess! That's why the airline got rid of their A320's in favor of the A321's, Which has relatively low operational costs, yet high yields.. Correct me if i'm wrong!

Reg'ds
OD-BWH



A300, A319, A320, A321, A332, A333, A343, A346, A388, B734, B738, B772, B773, F70
User currently offlineYegbey01 From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 1729 posts, RR: 3
Reply 14, posted (9 years 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 4078 times:

OD-BWH.....I really think you are missing the point. Can you explain to me why Air Arabia has ben successful if everybody wants the luxury...and how is the A319 different from the A321?


MEA could utilize the A319s on routes (in both the middle east and Europe) that could not be operated with the A321s.

the 321's provide more capacity to routes that do not require additional frequency like it is in North America and Europe


User currently offlineAF022 From France, joined Dec 2003, 2162 posts, RR: 1
Reply 15, posted (9 years 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 4046 times:

Wasn't there talk a while ago of MEA operating more flights to Africa, like Cotonou or Conaky or Dakar? Is that now over? It seemed ridiculous at the time.

User currently offlineOD720 From Lebanon, joined Feb 2003, 1925 posts, RR: 32
Reply 16, posted (9 years 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 4009 times:

Since we are discussing the A319, MEA has not owned any type of aircraft in that capacity for more than 30 years. I always asked myself the question why they never ordered the 727 and the 737 during the 707/720 days?
The A320 was the smallest airliner they ever used during this period.
In the 80s, when they were looking to modernize their fleet and find a replacement for the 707s, they looked exclusively at the A310 and 767 and chose the former.

Will they ever get a A319 size aircraft? I hope so but maybe the mentality in not there.


User currently offlineBlondie75 From France, joined Oct 2005, 23 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (9 years 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 3974 times:

If one airline had a huge potential, this was MEA.

It makes me sad to see that MEA is not yet a grand actor of the airline companies (even though it's only been about 10 years that the "civil" war came to an end) whereas companies such as EK keep endlessly growing.

- With such an important Lebanese community abroad in most continents,
- With a good geographical position for making BEY a hub (as DXB has now become),
- With the possibility of exploring lucrative niches with few competition for the moment (such as in Africa where exactly EK plans to add frequencies...),

=>MEA has potentially all assets to be a big one.

Let's hope the regional (and domestic...) context will go on getting better, that the Lebanese government will act professionnaly to make Lebanon an even more attracting touristic destination, and that MEA will keep improving the quality of its service, allowing the Lebanese airline to take the place it deserves.

Rgds


User currently offlineBA From United States of America, joined May 2000, 11153 posts, RR: 59
Reply 18, posted (9 years 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 3885 times:

I have a feeling they will likely not get the A319 considering that their A321s only have 149 seats which is typical of an A320. This is in order to maintain a big Cedar Class section and good legroom, so OD-BWH does have a point...

But who knows... maybe we will see 100-seat A319s flying for MEA one day...

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, 7415 posts, RR: 57
Reply 19, posted (9 years 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 3867 times:

Quoting BA (Reply 18):
I have a feeling they will likely not get the A319 considering that their A321s only have 149 seats which is typical of an A320

You are right. But this is good for flights to Europe, > 4hours...

Is it really necessary to offer such a configuration for short flights < 2hours around BEY ? (CAI/AMM/LCA/JED etc...)


User currently offlineBA From United States of America, joined May 2000, 11153 posts, RR: 59
Reply 20, posted (9 years 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 3857 times:

Quoting FlySSC (Reply 19):
Is it really necessary to offer such a configuration for short flights < 2hours around BEY ? (CAI/AMM/LCA/JED etc...)

Whether it is necessary or not is not for me to say. But I believe, MEA will not go for any configuration that is less of what it currently has on its A321s. They always talk about maintaining high service standards and quality.

But who knows...

I have a question for you. MEA recently opened their upgraded Cedar Lounge in the airport.

It mentions that it has a cafeteria which can be seen below:


Is this cafeteria where one can buy food, or is it simply a cafeteria where Cedar Lounge guests are entitled to pick up food and drinks just like in any other airline lounge?

I know the Cedar Lounge had food before (small sandwiches, pastries, drinks, etc.), but this cafeteria looks pretty extensive, so I assume this is a self-serve and pay cafeteria?

They will be opening showers soon as well.

I have heard some people say that their new Cedar Lounge is even better than Emirates' Business Class lounge in Dubai! That's pretty impressive if true...

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, 4513 posts, RR: 53
Reply 21, posted (9 years 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 3848 times:

We'll look forward to seeing F-OMED then.


PARIS, FRANCE...THE BEIRUT OF EUROPE.
User currently offlineOrion737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 22, posted (9 years 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 3839 times:

I am suprised they have not opted for the larger A330-300 because the 332 is often full on the Paris run and the extra seats on the 333 could easily be filled.

I do think a regional arm of MEA would be useful the 321 are far from suitable for the shorter, lower density routes to neighbouring countries where there is demand but the 321 is too big.


User currently offlineBA From United States of America, joined May 2000, 11153 posts, RR: 59
Reply 23, posted (9 years 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 3832 times:

Quoting Orion737 (Reply 22):
I do think a regional arm of MEA would be useful the 321 are far from suitable for the shorter, lower density routes to neighbouring countries where there is demand but the 321 is too big.

A Lebanese/Syrian regional airline called Phoenician Airlines is currently in the works. It will be 25% owned by MEA, 25% owned by Syrian Air, and the remaining 50% will be owned by other investers (Lebanese, Syrian, and others).

The airline will initially operate two 50-seat turboprops and in the future may acquire regional jets.

It will be based in Beirut and Damascus with shuttle flights between the two cities as well as flights to Aleppo in Syria.

In the future, it will operate flights to Iraq, Jordan, Egypt, Turkey, and Cyprus.

Regards



"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
User currently offlineOrion737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 24, posted (9 years 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 3825 times:

Its a good idea although I would have prefered MEA to operate to those destinations in its own right but with a smaller aircarft which could offer high frequencies. I would think the A318/A319 would offer smaller capacity but still fleet commonality or for MEA to perhaps order some ERJs.

Are these destinations curently served by MEA321? If so, then that must mean a huge excess capacity and restrict the number of daily frequencies that can be offered. Poor fleet planning on behalf of MEA. It was obvious the 321 would be too much for regional routes to surrounding countries.


25 BA : No, Phoenician Airlines will not operate the destinations served by MEA with the exception of Larnaca and maybe Amman. They will operate secondary de
26 Orion737 : I cannot understand why MEA dont get some smaller aircraft and operate to these destination 'in house' increasing brand awareness in the locality and
27 BA : The A321 is sufficient for Larnaca, Cairo, and Amman. However for destinations like Damascus, Aleppo, Aqaba, Alexandria, Ankara, Adana, and Gazientep
28 AF022 : With all the animosity between Syria and Lebanon, coupled with Syrian Arab Air's comically bad management, I can't envision Phoenician actually making
29 BA : I read in Al Mustaqbal newspaper about a month ago. It's still on. It was in an article about MEA and how it's performing this year as a result of th
30 Mozart : A question on this: with MEA joining Arabesk, does this mean the plan to join Skyteam is finally dead? That would be a pity... Anything official or a
31 Post contains links BA : “None of the eight airlines are part of any global alliance. However, their membership in the Arab air alliance should not preclude them from joini
32 OD-BWH : BA is right... add to this the fact that MEA is not a low cost airline. They cannot resemble and therefore cannot compete with a LC. Passengers flyin
33 HiJazzey : I think the A321s are perfect for MEA. They're the right size, not too big, not too small. Don't forget that the region isn't an open sky, internation
34 BA : Indeed HiJazzey. I know MEA has been wanting to operate to Riyadh (RUH) on a daily basis, but Saudi authorities haven't allowed them to increase it ab
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