Flying-Tiger
Topic Author
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MEA Takes Even More Airbusses!

Fri Apr 19, 2002 3:17 am

Middle East Airline has signed a MoU for 6 A321 for delivery between late 2002 and 2004. The planes will be aquired via leasing. Source: Airbus via Dow joes news wire.

Regards
Flying-Tiger
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funny
Posts: 311
Joined: Fri May 11, 2001 4:07 am

RE: MEA Takes Even More Airbusses!

Fri Apr 19, 2002 5:26 am

What ever happened to the ex-swissair Airbus aircraft. Wasnt MEA interested in them?

Jason
 
BA
Posts: 10166
Joined: Fri May 19, 2000 11:06 am

RE: MEA Takes Even More Airbusses!

Fri Apr 19, 2002 6:10 am

Good news for MEA.

So that's a total of 9 aircraft ordered recently.

3 A330-200s and 6 A321s.

Funny,

MEA is still interested in the 3 ex-Swissair A330s. It's very likely that they will be taking them.

Regards
"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
 
desert_dweller
Posts: 89
Joined: Fri Apr 05, 2002 1:11 pm

RE: MEA Takes Even More Airbusses!

Fri Apr 19, 2002 6:19 am

great, i usually fly MEA since im lebanese. they have a small fleet of airbuses, this will be a pretty good upgrade. i wonder why they stopped leasing boeings after the civil war.
 
BA
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RE: MEA Takes Even More Airbusses!

Fri Apr 19, 2002 6:23 am

Desert_Dweller,

The only Boeing's they had were 707s and 720s.

The 707s left there fleet in the early 90's, and the last 720 was retired in 1999.

MEA just can't keep those old birds flying any longer.

Noise restrictions in Europe limited them to be only used in Africa and some Middle Eastern routes. They were also getting very expensive to maintain.

Regards
"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
 
BA
Posts: 10166
Joined: Fri May 19, 2000 11:06 am

RE: MEA Takes Even More Airbusses!

Fri Apr 19, 2002 6:24 am

They also had 3 747-200s.

Not sure why they got rid of them.

Probably to maintain commonality with the Airbuses.

Regards
"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
 
MEA
Posts: 585
Joined: Mon Jan 15, 2001 8:30 pm

RE: MEA Takes Even More Airbusses!

Fri Apr 19, 2002 8:58 am

This is good news, I hope MEA continues to grow into the international carrier it once was.

Is there confirmation that they will be ordering 3 A330-200s or is this still a rumour?
 
BA
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RE: MEA Takes Even More Airbusses!

Fri Apr 19, 2002 9:24 am

MEA,

They already announced there A330 order last week. So yes it's confirmed.

I've heard from a few sources that the 6 A321s they ordered would be used to replace the current A320s and A321s which are under lease.

Is this true?

I thought it would be for fleet expansion............
"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
 
hkgspotter1
Posts: 5750
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RE: MEA Takes Even More Airbusses!

Fri Apr 19, 2002 9:43 am

Good news for Aibus. Lets see what they are going to do with these new planes.
 
MEA
Posts: 585
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RE: MEA Takes Even More Airbusses!

Fri Apr 19, 2002 5:01 pm

Here's a media article for further info:

MEA agrees six-plane deal to update fleet
Three further leases to complete overhaul
Chairman rules out privatization in present climate, but claims airline is ready as losses fall and ‘we are not going to wait forever’

Middle East Airlines chairman Mohammed Hout confirmed Thursday that the company plans to upgrade its fleet.
Speaking to reporters at the MEA headquarters in Beirut, Hout said the national carrier would buy six Airbus 321 long-haul planes and lease three wide-body A330-200 to replace existing models. He also said the company’s management was able to persuade Airbus, the European aircraft manufacturer, to reduce the price of the A321 planes but declined to disclose the total value of the deal. According to Airbus, each A321 plane costs nearly $65 million. The company announced earlier that it intended to lease three new A330-200 planes.

All the new planes, which will come directly from the manufacturer, will become operational in the summer of 2002. “This is the right time to buy new planes from Airbus because the prices have gone down since Sept. 11,” the chairman said. At present, MEA has nine Airbus planes on lease and flying to nearly 20 destinations in Europe and the Middle East. Hout said that he had signed an agreement of understanding with Airbus, but added that the deal won’t be inked until the financing of the purchase has been arranged.

He said that 85 percent of the deal will be financed by foreign banks. “I don’t think we will have a problem in finding banks to finance the deal after the company managed to implement the restructuring plan last year.”
He added that a number of international banks have already approached MEA to provide financing for the purchase. In 2001, and with the full backing of the government, MEA sacked 1,200 employees and offered another 250 early retirement packages ­ at a cost of more than $100 million.

“The step we took last year encouraged us to buy and lease new planes,” Hout said, adding that replacing the existing fleet will not create any additional financial burden on the company. “We are in the right direction because our losses have dropped after the company was restructured,” he said. Hout projected a loss of less than $20 million by the end of 2002, compared to $30 million in 2001 and $50 million in the year 2000. The Central Bank, which owns 99 percent of MEA, has spent more than $400 million on the airline since 1996.

Hout added that the chief factor affecting the company remains fierce competition from foreign airlines.
Prime Minister Rafik Hariri initiated an open skies policy in 2000 in order to encourage all airlines to use Beirut International Airport. Airline experts say that the increased competition is now costing MEA $20 million in annual losses. There are more than 33 Arab and other foreign airlines using BIA at present, while more are pledging to include the Lebanese capital as a regular stop in the near future.

Christian Scherer, Airbus’ senior vice-president of transactions and control and deputy head of commercial, said that MEA management succeeded in negotiating a good deal. “They (MEA) drove a hard bargain,” Scherer said, but added that he was not authorized to disclose the value of the deal. Hout added that there would be no commission payments in the deal because both sides, he claimed, made sure that the contract is “fully transparent.”

He also ruled out the possibility of any privatization of MEA this year given the current depression in worldwide travel and the attendant cool in new investments. “The company is ready for privatization because the losses have dropped thanks to the measures we took. “But we are not going to wait forever until privatization takes place,” he added.

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/business/19_04_02_a.htm

 
MEA
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RE: MEA Takes Even More Airbusses!

Sat Apr 20, 2002 3:34 am

Does anyone know what routes the A330-200 will serve?
 
BA
Posts: 10166
Joined: Fri May 19, 2000 11:06 am

RE: MEA Takes Even More Airbusses!

Sat Apr 20, 2002 3:36 am

MEA,

They're being used to replace the A310s. So they'll be used on the routes that the A310 currently runs.

Regards
"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
 
MEA
Posts: 585
Joined: Mon Jan 15, 2001 8:30 pm

RE: MEA Takes Even More Airbusses!

Tue Apr 23, 2002 10:50 am

I was just reading the Airbus press release in relation to MEA's A321. The aircraft will be configured in a 150 seat configuration.

Isn't this configuration about 30 seats less then most other airlines?

See press release below:

Middle East Airlines, the national airline of Lebanon, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Airbus today, covering the sale of six Airbus A321s. The aircraft will be purchased by MEA for delivery between the end of 2002 and 2004.

“Selection of the A321 will improve our operating efficiency thanks to the aircraft’s commonality with our existing and future fleet,” said MEA Chairman Director General Mohamad El-Hout. “And the continued expansion of our Airbus fleet is key to ensuring our future growth and prosperity as Lebanon’s flag carrier.”

“We are delighted in this vote of confidence from MEA, which has been successfully operating Airbus aircraft on lease since 1997,” said Airbus President and Chief Executive Officer Noël Forgeard.

The A321, seating 150 passengers in MEA’s luxurious layout, has a range of up to 5,550km/3,000nm. It will allow the Lebanese carrier to benefit from substantial operating cost savings resulting from commonality with its current fleet of A320 Family aircraft, as well as its future A330-200s, which MEA recently announced it would be acquiring on lease.

source: http//:www.airbus.com
 
BA
Posts: 10166
Joined: Fri May 19, 2000 11:06 am

RE: MEA Takes Even More Airbusses!

Tue Apr 23, 2002 11:00 am

Yes, it is less than what most airlines have.

MEA's seats are absolutely fantastic.

So much legroom.

The seats in first are VERY VERY impressive. They're like what you would expect to find on long-haul trans-atlantic airliners like 777s, 747s, A340s, etc. except without the PTVs.

Regards
"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran

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