"SkyTeam, the global airline alliance, today welcomed Middle East Airlines – Air Liban (MEA) as its 17th member. The flag carrier of Lebanon, MEA becomes SkyTeam’s second Middle Eastern member, offering customers from the region access to an extensive global network. "
Does anyone know which aircraft will be painted in the skyteam livery?
raffik From United States of America, joined Feb 2006, 1741 posts, RR: 3
Reply 1, posted (3 years 11 months 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 7194 times:
That's great news for the airline and SkyTeam.
Unsure of the aircraft but I would hazard a guess and say that one of the A330s will don the special livery.
It has been rumoured that MEA are seeking an additional 332, would be great if it was delivered with the special decals
yegbey01 From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 1752 posts, RR: 3
Reply 6, posted (3 years 11 months 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 6943 times:
MEA brings very little to Skyteam....
MEA has had a solid relationship with AF for a very ling time. Maybe we will see a consolidation of flights to FCO and potential future flights to AMS...but that's about it. Unless MEA buys regional aircraft (but that doesn't appear to be happening soon)
MEA's network in the Middle East covers cities already served by the alliance.
You might see further schedules coordination with DL, but I think this is already in place.
but I really can't see anything substantive as a result of this.
Totally agree flew their A330 service LHR- BEY in Y . Airline service as it used to be and lovely crew uniforms too. Congrats to MEA they have had a tough few decades and survived attack and evacuating their fleet. Kudos to them.
BasilFawlty From Netherlands, joined Jun 2009, 1380 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (3 years 11 months 20 hours ago) and read 6444 times:
Quoting yegbey01 (Reply 6): MEA has had a solid relationship with AF for a very ling time. Maybe we will see a consolidation of flights to FCO and potential future flights to AMS...but that's about it. Unless MEA buys regional aircraft (but that doesn't appear to be happening soon)
AMS would make sense since it's a large Skyteam hub and currently has no direct flights to BEY. Perhaps they will swap BRU for AMS in the near future?
Also interesting are the messages that the 4 A321's will be phased out and the possibility of a 5th A330, anyone got more info?
'Every year donkeys and mules kill more people than plane crashes'
IrishAyes From Israel, joined Jan 2008, 2553 posts, RR: 16
Reply 10, posted (3 years 11 months 18 hours ago) and read 6295 times:
Quoting kl911 (Reply 5): Exactly my thoughts. What does MEA brings to Skyteam ? I don't get this choice. Are there that many destinations that are not covered yet?
I wouldn't say there are a whole lot of things to be overlooked here.
For one, MEA has actually been profitable over the past few years - a pretty uncommon feat for govt. propped carriers in the Middle East/Southeast Asia region these days.
For two, MEA is undergoing a fleet modernization plan, with intentions to grow its network by 30% by 2020.
For three, SkyTeam does have the bragging rights that their capacity share in the Middle East now leapfrogs that of Star and OneWorld by a decent amount. As long as none of the big three (with QR being the most likely) choose not to join a major global alliance, that balance of power is likely to remain that way for some time.
Of course, I'd argue that at the end of the day, it was more of a situation where MEA needed ST rather than the other way around.
As far as the future goes, on one hand, arguably its presence in ST will be good for MEA's visibility in terms of generating more traffic to continue its profitability streak. Especially as it will be able to draw on more Lebanese ex-pat traffic from longer-distance communities. On the other hand, I'd probably venture to say that it's biggest risk/threat is the fact that it operates in one of the most tumultuous regions of all of the fellow ST members. We'll just have to wait and see.
EddieDude From Mexico, joined Nov 2003, 8217 posts, RR: 42
Reply 11, posted (3 years 11 months 13 hours ago) and read 5999 times:
Quoting IrishAyes (Reply 10): For one, MEA has actually been profitable over the past few years - a pretty uncommon feat for govt. propped carriers in the Middle East/Southeast Asia region these days.
Agree. The political situation in Lebanon and the outlook for a burgeoning aviation industry in the country are especially complicated, so this is indeed quite a remarkable feat.
Quoting IrishAyes (Reply 10): Of course, I'd argue that at the end of the day, it was more of a situation where MEA needed ST rather than the other way around.
I agree. However, it is great to see SkyTeam add a quality airline to its lineup. Many people dismiss SkyTeam as a collection of second-tier carriers, but it seems they are doing great in terms of growth and geographic reach.
Capt.Fantastic From United States of America, joined Aug 1999, 856 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (3 years 11 months 9 hours ago) and read 5475 times:
I see this as a win-win for both MEA and SkyTeam. I have flown MEA between BEY and CDG, FRA, JED, MED. Their service is excellent; far better than Saudi IMO. The flight crews are very friendly and fluent in English, French and Arabic. Its a great addition to the SkyTeam family.
A number of destinations in the Gulf are served from Beirut; I see BEY as a convenient connecting point: Passenger facilities are pleasant and comfortable for long layovers. I've been to the airport many times and, aside from long lines, I've never had a bad experience.
brightcedars From Belgium, joined Nov 2004, 1291 posts, RR: 2
Reply 13, posted (3 years 11 months 7 hours ago) and read 5161 times:
Quoting BasilFawlty (Reply 9): AMS would make sense since it's a large Skyteam hub and currently has no direct flights to BEY. Perhaps they will swap BRU for AMS in the near future?
Sure hope not, the planes are usually well filled and prices have risen out of BRU so I doubt this would happen. Why not be more ambitious and think of an additional flight to AMS. It's best if ME operates it from BEY in the morning as it would connect well with KL's vast TATL network in both directions.
As for Skyteam membership, I think it's more a win for ME than for the alliance for now. I don't rely care, ME's BEY-BRU covers most of my travel needs and the rest with SN would never provide me any useful perks so I'm not picky on the alliance.
raffik From United States of America, joined Feb 2006, 1741 posts, RR: 3
Reply 14, posted (3 years 11 months 7 hours ago) and read 5102 times:
It is wonderful news for MEA. I disagree with the various negativity on this thread.
MEA has been a profitable airline since 2003. In 2005 it was the 17th most profitable airline in the world and operated the youngest fleet. It has a clear commitment to providing a quality service and Beirut is a fantastic airport which I enjoy using.
For an airline that posted a $90m loss in the 1990s, operating with several 707s and various A310s out of what was considered a very un touristic destination, the airline has done wonders in re establishing itself as an enterprise which puts customers first, in terms of the levels of comfort it offers its passengers and a growing route network.
Yes, the airline doesn't bring a HUGE amount of transfer opportunities to Sky Team, but this is at present.
Airport traffic was up 18% over last year at BEY, the airport is about to double the terminal size to meet demand and the number of tourists to Lebanon has (until recently with the problems in Syria) been booming.
The airline does need to grow its regional network significantly, and had Lebanon not had a most devastating war lasting from the early 70s to current day, MEA would have been the leading airline in the region. It was the first airline in the arab world to operate jet aircraft and Beirut was a massive transit hub for most passengers in the Middle East. There was no airline in Dubai at the time- MEA's fleet would regularly serve runways which had no terminals, no infrastructure throughout the region and funnel them on through Beirut. Ofcourse, this isn't going to happen now that we have the likes of Emirates, Qatar, Royal Jordanian who have all established transit hubs and quite importantly do not have the bad image that Beirut and Lebanon have.
They need to grow regionally and then think about expanding back into Sri Lanka, Madrid, Moscow perhaps some expansion into Africa, where they are quite a well respected airline.
I don't think we meant to be negative....I think it is a tremendous achievement.
But it would be great to get our hands on the MEA strategic plan document that clarifies how MEA would benefit from joining the alliance and how MEA would benefit Skyteam as well.
With the limited fleet, MEA will continue to serve points in Europe and the Gulf where large populations of Lebanese decent currently reside and will continue to interline with various airlines in the US and Air Canada (codeshare here), so how will joining the alliance change how MEA will operate in the future
This is not about whether MEA is profitable or not.
It also signifies the origin of the airline as being from Lebanon.
Quoting yegbey01 (Reply 15): With the limited fleet, MEA will continue to serve points in Europe and the Gulf where large populations of Lebanese decent currently reside and will continue to interline with various airlines in the US and Air Canada (codeshare here), so how will joining the alliance change how MEA will operate in the future
It will also help with marketing MEA interlining services from the US through Delta airlines, within Europe through Air France and tap into the Asian market through China Airlines and of course Africa with Kenya Airways.
It's a huge tool to help sell MEA tickets easily. We also have no idea on what MEA's plans are. Yes, they may be small now but in terms of profit, Lebanon is a very high yielding destination. I can fly to New York for £300- yet find me a direct flight to Beirut and you're looking at £500+ for a considerably shorter flight.
And I believe the profitably of an airline is a key indicator on how much forecast growth they can make, aircraft acquisition, access to credit unions to finance new aircraft etc.