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MEA To Resume Flights To Iraq In June  
User currently offlineBA From United States of America, joined May 2000, 11154 posts, RR: 59
Posted (6 years 1 week 19 hours ago) and read 6588 times:

Lebanon's national carrier, Middle East Airlines (MEA), will resume flights to Iraq which have been suspended since the Gulf War.

Quote:
Lebanon signs air travel agreement with Iraq
December 18, 2008

Public Works and Transportation Minister Ghazi al-Aridi signed a Lebanese-Iraqi agreement to restart flights between the two countries by Middle East Airlines starting in June 2009.

Aridi said that the agreement would put an end to recent aviation problems between the two countries, adding that the safety of travel between the two countries and airports was crucial. Aridi said that Middle East Airlines had the priority in every agreement.

http://www.nowlebanon.com/NewsArticleDetails.aspx?ID=71498

Back in October, MEA's Chairman Mohamad El-Hout, announced that the decision to resume flights to Baghdad had been made but they are waiting for insurance costs to go down as well as for the country to become more stable. He also mentioned that after they start Baghdad, they will look at launching services to Arbil, the capital of the Kurdish region of Iraq.

More details here:
MEA To Launch Moscow, Khartoum, Madrid, And Iraq (by BA Oct 3 2008 in Civil Aviation)

I believe this makes MEA the 4th major foreign carrier to resume services to Iraq after Royal Jordanian, Turkish Airlines, and Austrian Airlines. I know Austrian Airlines' service is to Arbil, but does anyone know if they served Iraq prior to the Gulf War? If not, then they are a newcomer and that makes MEA the 3rd major foreign carrier to resume services to Iraq assuming I haven't forgotten anyone.


"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
38 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineBA From United States of America, joined May 2000, 11154 posts, RR: 59
Reply 1, posted (6 years 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 6421 times:

Here are two articles in Arabic with lots of details regarding the service:

http://www.almustaqbal.com/stories.aspx?StoryID=323527
http://www.albaladonline.com/html/story.php?sid=45035

An MEA delegation will travel to Baghdad next month to assess the conditions of the airport and make preparations for the service.



"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, 7428 posts, RR: 57
Reply 2, posted (6 years 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 6362 times:

"Flying Carpet" and Iraqi Airways had plan to fly the BEY-SDA route ... did they ever materialized ?

A bit out of Topic but Air France is studying to launch a flight CDG-EBL (Erbil / Iraqi Kurdistan)


User currently offlineBA From United States of America, joined May 2000, 11154 posts, RR: 59
Reply 3, posted (6 years 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 6238 times:



Quoting FlySSC (Reply 2):
"Flying Carpet" and Iraqi Airways had plan to fly the BEY-SDA route ... did they ever materialized ?

Yes, for a while, I believe both Flying Carpet and Iraqi Airways flew BEY-BGW, but when Flying Carpet got the 2 used 737-200s, Iraqi Airways contracted them to operate the route on their behalf.

I believe they are also flying to Erbil, Basra, and Sulaimaniyah.

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Quoting FlySSC (Reply 2):
A bit out of Topic but Air France is studying to launch a flight CDG-EBL (Erbil / Iraqi Kurdistan)

Erbil seems to be the "safe" option that airlines are considering.



"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, 11154 posts, RR: 59
Reply 4, posted (6 years 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 6125 times:

On a somewhat unrelated note, does anyone know if Royal Jordanian still does a spiral approach into Baghdad? I know they don't operate the flights themselves and instead are wet-leasing Fokker F28s with specially trained pilots.


"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, 11154 posts, RR: 59
Reply 5, posted (6 years 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 5899 times:

Just read an article where Mohamad El-Hout meets with the Finance Minister and mentions the launch of services to Baghdad in June 2009.

In addition, he mentioned that CAI, AMM, and DXB will increase from 1x daily to 2x daily while JED and RUH will increase from 1x daily to 11x weekly (1x daily + 4x weekly) as a result of the airline receiving the first three of the six A320s it has on order in the coming months.

I am surprised that AMM will see this frequency increase. I can only see it being practical if MEA had regional jets.



"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
User currently offlineMEA321 From Lebanon, joined Oct 2003, 389 posts, RR: 15
Reply 6, posted (6 years 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 5817 times:

Hey guys,

I can confirm that Berlin is in the works as well. It will be introduced in the summer timetable (probably as a seasonal route) and 3x weekly using A320/A321. Khartoum is being negotiated.

I will post MEA's new summer timetable for 2009 as soon possible. Lots of frequency changes.



MEA321
User currently offlineSoups From Ghana, joined Jun 2004, 3438 posts, RR: 14
Reply 7, posted (6 years 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 5769 times:



Quoting BA (Reply 5):
I am surprised that AMM will see this frequency increase

RJ flies 3 daily AMM-BEY-AMM (but with smaller equipment).
RJ can offer business travellers daytrips while ME can't.
MEA isn't big on connections compared to RJ as well.
ME can easily connect passengers to europe and africa from AMM via BEY.
With the AMM-BEY landing at 7pm it misses majority of the european departures (ME) in the morning.



Next destinations, Suarabaya, beirut, paris, Accra
User currently offlineBA From United States of America, joined May 2000, 11154 posts, RR: 59
Reply 8, posted (6 years 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 5690 times:



Quoting MEA321 (Reply 6):
I can confirm that Berlin is in the works as well. It will be introduced in the summer timetable (probably as a seasonal route) and 3x weekly using A320/A321. Khartoum is being negotiated.

Interesting, first time I heard Berlin mentioned, but good for them. Would this be instead of the previous seasonal service to Düsseldorf and Cologne/Bonn?

Moscow, Khartoum, and Madrid have all been mentioned by MEA as future routes.

Quoting Soups (Reply 7):
RJ flies 3 daily AMM-BEY-AMM (but with smaller equipment).

Yes, on Embraer 175s and 195s which is why I think MEA needs to get smaller aircraft quickly.

2x daily A320/A321s will offer comparable (if not slightly more) capacity as RJ's 3x daily E-Jet service, but like you said, RJ also offers more connections.



"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
User currently offlineMEA321 From Lebanon, joined Oct 2003, 389 posts, RR: 15
Reply 9, posted (6 years 22 hours ago) and read 5628 times:

The route to Moscow is running into problems because of visa issues for Lebanese pilots. The Berlin route, if decided on, will be in addition to the seasonal flights to Cologne.

Another thing I wanted to mention is the delivery date of the new Airbus A320 on January 20, 2009. The first flight for the A320 will be to Cairo on January 21. Reg will be F-ORMK.



MEA321
User currently offlineBA From United States of America, joined May 2000, 11154 posts, RR: 59
Reply 10, posted (6 years 21 hours ago) and read 5606 times:



Quoting MEA321 (Reply 9):
The route to Moscow is running into problems because of visa issues for Lebanese pilots. The Berlin route, if decided on, will be in addition to the seasonal flights to Cologne.

Thanks for the info. Any idea why MEA switched the seasonal flight from Düsseldorf to Cologne last year?

Also, I know that Mohamad El-Hout mentioned that Frankfurt will go up to daily, is this still in the plans?

Quoting MEA321 (Reply 9):
Another thing I wanted to mention is the delivery date of the new Airbus A320 on January 20, 2009. The first flight for the A320 will be to Cairo on January 21. Reg will be F-ORMK.

It was mentioned back in September that MEA will register its first plane in Lebanon (OD-XXX) this January.

http://www.naharnet.com/domino/tn/Ne...0/84ECCB35669380A2C22574C7002560A2

Has this changed?



"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
User currently offlineYegbey01 From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 1732 posts, RR: 3
Reply 11, posted (6 years 16 hours ago) and read 5491 times:



Quoting BA (Reply 10):
Thanks for the info. Any idea why MEA switched the seasonal flight from Düsseldorf to Cologne last year?

The Bonn/Koln area has a lot of Lebanese people - most probably more than Dusseldrof.

And maybe it is cheaper to operate our of there too.


User currently offlineMEA330 From Lebanon, joined Aug 2002, 288 posts, RR: 7
Reply 12, posted (6 years 4 hours ago) and read 5378 times:



Quoting MEA321 (Reply 9):

According to my sources the new A320 will be deployed on ME265 IST or ME252 ATH in the morning and operating ME436 DOH in the afternoon.
Anyways you can check it, as the flights are already loaded as A320.


User currently offlineFlySSC From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 7428 posts, RR: 57
Reply 13, posted (6 years 3 hours ago) and read 5368 times:



Quoting MEA330 (Reply 12):
According to my sources the new A320 will be deployed on ME265 IST or ME252 ATH in the morning and operating ME436 DOH in the afternoon.

ME265/ME266 BEY-IST-BEY 1 - 3 - 5 - 7 08h35-10h20 / 11h20-13h00
ME251/ME252 BEY-ATH-BEY - 2 - 4 - 6 - 08h10-10h05 / 11h20-13h05

ME436/ME437 BEY-DOH-BEY Daily 14h15-18h00 / 19h00-21h10


User currently offlineAirevents From Germany, joined Jan 2002, 894 posts, RR: 2
Reply 14, posted (6 years 3 hours ago) and read 5340 times:



Quoting BA (Thread starter):
The Bonn/Koln area has a lot of Lebanese people - most probably more than Dusseldrof.

It is only around 40kms between CGN in DUS with perfect and all kind of transport connections between the airports, so the catchment area is practically the same.

CGN is mainly a low-cost hub (with many routes within Europe but virtually no long-hauls - and yes, it is cheaper to operate to/from there) while DUS is focussing on the non-low-cost segment plus long-haul services.



www.airevents.com
User currently offlineBA From United States of America, joined May 2000, 11154 posts, RR: 59
Reply 15, posted (6 years ago) and read 5289 times:



Quoting Yegbey01 (Reply 11):
The Bonn/Koln area has a lot of Lebanese people - most probably more than Dusseldrof.



Quoting Airevents (Reply 14):

It is only around 40kms between CGN in DUS with perfect and all kind of transport connections between the airports, so the catchment area is practically the same.

CGN is mainly a low-cost hub (with many routes within Europe but virtually no long-hauls - and yes, it is cheaper to operate to/from there) while DUS is focussing on the non-low-cost segment plus long-haul services.

Thanks for the info. I visited Köln back in 2001 but never got the chance to travel Düsseldorf despite being close. Beautiful city.

I've always thought it's interesting that an airline like MEA serves DUS/CGN. I know the DUS service was introduced in 2003 and operated every summer through 2007. This past summer, the service operated to CGN instead.

Quoting MEA330 (Reply 12):

According to my sources the new A320 will be deployed on ME265 IST or ME252 ATH in the morning and operating ME436 DOH in the afternoon.
Anyways you can check it, as the flights are already loaded as A320.

You're absolutely right. Interesting. Any ideas what MEA's plans are for the A321s between the delivery of the new A320s and the start of the Spring schedule? Will they just see less utilization or will they be taken out of service and repainted in the new livery? This was something I've been wondering since frequency increases won't kick in immediately as the airline receives the A320s. It would be an opportunity to do some work on the A321s.



"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
User currently offlineMEA330 From Lebanon, joined Aug 2002, 288 posts, RR: 7
Reply 16, posted (6 years ago) and read 5277 times:



Quoting Airevents (Reply 14):

Most probably increased capacity in June will be used to remove First A332 for re-delivery maintenance+major maintenance/paint on A321s. Like you said the extra cpacity will not kick in before March.


User currently offlineHUYfan From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2001, 1415 posts, RR: 3
Reply 17, posted (6 years ago) and read 5266 times:

Anyone have a run down of MEA's planned Summer 2009 programme?

Regards

Mike


User currently offlineYegbey01 From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 1732 posts, RR: 3
Reply 18, posted (5 years 12 months 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 5225 times:



Quoting BA (Reply 15):
I've always thought it's interesting that an airline like MEA serves DUS/CGN. I know the DUS service was introduced in 2003 and operated every summer through 2007. This past summer, the service operated to CGN instead.

LTU served BEY from DUS over many years...so the market has alwasy been there. I know many folks that used to take the LTU flight from YYZ and connect to BEY.

At any rates, these are seasonal flights that serve mostly Leabses people living abroad. Year-round service cannot be sustained unless it's a German airline that can get some connecting traffic.

Before 2005, TUI was planning flights from MUC and STR to BEY in addition to LTU's service and charters from HAJ and Berlin.

All in all, BEY's service to Geramany is quite limited. Not sure whether the market is tiny, but without ZRH and VIE, I don't know why LH doesn;t send a bigger plane to BEY anyways


User currently offlineBA From United States of America, joined May 2000, 11154 posts, RR: 59
Reply 19, posted (5 years 12 months 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 5170 times:



Quoting HUYfan (Reply 17):
Anyone have a run down of MEA's planned Summer 2009 programme?

Should be released soon but what's been officially announced so far by MEA's Chairman, Mohamad El-Hout is that CAI, AMM, and DXB will go from 1x daily to 2x daily and JED and RUH will go from 1x daily to 11x weekly (1x daily + 4x weekly). These are just some of the changes.

We should see the biggest increase in MEA's capacity in its history.

AF is also introducing a 2nd flight on CDG-BEY on A332s for the summer period only that will operate 4x weekly, so there will be 25x weekly AF/ME service between CDG and BEY during the summer.

Quoting Yegbey01 (Reply 18):
LTU served BEY from DUS over many years...so the market has alwasy been there.

True, but LTU is a much bigger airline than MEA and is able to provide feed as you pointed out. MEA on the other hand has to rely on O&D and is quite a small airline.

Quoting Yegbey01 (Reply 18):
Before 2005, TUI was planning flights from MUC and STR to BEY in addition to LTU's service and charters from HAJ and Berlin.

Correct, in fact, the flights were loaded (to be operated by Hapagfly) and they already started selling seats but they canceled the service as a result of the 2006 summer war.

Quoting Yegbey01 (Reply 18):
All in all, BEY's service to Geramany is quite limited. Not sure whether the market is tiny, but without ZRH and VIE, I don't know why LH doesn;t send a bigger plane to BEY anyways

During the summer, LH upgrades many of its BEY flights to A300s. With the start of the Spring schedule, LH will operate 2 flights on Saturdays. While it is true that there is a sizable Lebanese population in Germany, I don't think it's large enough to sustain significant capacity. Of course, it is nowhere near as large or as dense as the Lebanese population in France. Besides the high demand between France and Lebanon, AF/ME enjoy a strong market share on traffic to/from North America, especially from YUL. AF has been the strongest carrier in this market from BEY for quite some time. After the civil war when few European airlines flew to BEY and on very low frequencies, AF flew A300s and A310s. This is why service between France and Lebanon is so high compared to between Germany and Lebanon.

Earlier this year, it was mentioned by MEA that FRA will go to daily, but I know that slots at FRA are a problem. Hopefully it will materialize as I think MEA can capitalize on increased interline connectivity just like they do at LHR.



"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
User currently offlineYegbey01 From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 1732 posts, RR: 3
Reply 20, posted (5 years 12 months 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 5080 times:



Quoting BA (Reply 19):
True, but LTU is a much bigger airline than MEA and is able to provide feed as you pointed out. MEA on the other hand has to rely on O&D and is quite a small airline

which is quite profitable. And I guess flying out of CGN will make it chaeaper for MEA, yet still capture the same target market.

Quoting BA (Reply 19):
During the summer, LH upgrades many of its BEY flights to A300s. With the start of the Spring schedule, LH will operate 2 flights on Saturdays. While it is true that there is a sizable Lebanese population in Germany, I don't think it's large enough to sustain significant capacity. Of course, it is nowhere near as large or as dense as the Lebanese population in France. Besides the high demand between France and Lebanon, AF/ME enjoy a strong market share on traffic to/from North America, especially from YUL. AF has been the strongest carrier in this market from BEY for quite some time. After the civil war when few European airlines flew to BEY and on very low frequencies, AF flew A300s and A310s. This is why service between France and Lebanon is so high compared to between Germany and Lebanon.

Earlier this year, it was mentioned by MEA that FRA will go to daily, but I know that slots at FRA are a problem. Hopefully it will materialize as I think MEA can capitalize on increased interline connectivity just like they do at LHR

I understand the AF/ME YUL market, but believe me MEA does loads of business through AC connectting flights out of FRA, LHR, FCO and to a certain degree CDG to all of the major Canadian destinations.


User currently offlineAF022 From France, joined Dec 2003, 2175 posts, RR: 1
Reply 21, posted (5 years 12 months 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 5071 times:

Is MEA planning to operate to Scandinavia again this summer?

User currently offlineYegbey01 From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 1732 posts, RR: 3
Reply 22, posted (5 years 12 months 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 5059 times:



Quoting AF022 (Reply 21):
Is MEA planning to operate to Scandinavia again this summer?

I would think so...CPH has been on the schedule for the last 5 years or so


User currently offlineAF022 From France, joined Dec 2003, 2175 posts, RR: 1
Reply 23, posted (5 years 12 months 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 5047 times:



Quoting Yegbey01 (Reply 22):
I would think so...CPH has been on the schedule for the last 5 years or so

Does VIKING AIRLINES still operate on this route? I'm not sure what kind of carrier they are but I think they operated CPH-BEY last summer. Do they still exist?


User currently offlineLTBEWR From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 13202 posts, RR: 16
Reply 24, posted (5 years 12 months 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 5028 times:

Does any operations by foreign airlines into Iraq have to have 'approval' of the USA government and military?

25 BA : CGN is definitely cheaper to fly out of than DUS. It's a low cost airport and is the primary hub for German low-cost carrier Germanwings. Definitely.
26 OD720 : A new airline is to operate 4x weekly to Baghdad starting January next year. I still don't know the full name. It will be the 3rd airline after Flying
27 FlySSC : For sure , there will. First, MEA can count on its name and reputation. Second, if they adjust the schedule, they can count on the PAX connecting fro
28 OD720 : Exactly my thoughts. MEA will serve a different market than those that are already operating the route.
29 Yegbey01 : Really???? I have to disagree with this.
30 FlySSC : AC874 YUL-FRA lands in FRA at 08:00AM, ME218 FRA-BEY leaves FRA at 12:35PM AC864 YUL-LHR lands in LHR at 07:30AM, ME202 LHR-BEY leaves LHR at 12:10PM
31 Yegbey01 : You are limiting AC market to YUL???
32 FlySSC : Of course not ! but YUL or YYZ is the same problem : they usually all land early in the morning in FRA (AC872 : 7h00 in FRA, AC856 : 06h25in LHR or A
33 MEA330 : Look out for AC 's YUL-GVA this summer. It was timed on purpose for connection with ME 213/214 both ways. Passengers will prefer transfering in calm
34 Yegbey01 : Try booking a dlight from YYZ to BEY on the MEA website...and then let's see what options you get. AC 858 arrives in LHR at 11 AC 876 arrives in FRA
35 BA : The article also mentions that Iraqi Airways will start flying to Beirut in January with "modern aircraft." I know they have orders for CRJ900s and 7
36 Yegbey01 : With AC, you will get your MEA boarding pass at the airport through AC or even through online check in on the AC website.
37 BA : Was this before or after MEA implemented e-ticketing? When I did the UA/ME connection, it was before MEA implemented e-ticketing which is why I think
38 Yegbey01 : AC for the longest time was able to issue boarding passes for connecting flights on both ME and Gulf Air right at the airport. Online check in is a d
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