AF Cabin Crew
Topic Author
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MEA's Regional Network

Wed Oct 08, 2003 9:50 am

Ia Orana all from Tahiti !!!

I have a question concerning MEA...
MEA is set to join Skyteam after their tremendous turn around ! Congratulations By the way...
I would like to know what has MEA to offer in the region spanning from India to Turkey, What routes, the frequency and the aircraft.
Also Is MEA looking at opening new routes out of BEY to this region which it will be in charge of !

Happy Flying,

AF Cabin Crew.
Ia Maitai to tatou tere !
 
BA
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RE: MEA's Regional Network

Wed Oct 08, 2003 9:55 am

Here you go:

Click for full size version


Here is MEA's schedule effective October 26 to March 27:


MEA is indeed set to join Skyteam and it is excellent news.

MEA definately has turned around. It's a completely different airline from what it was 5 years ago.

At the moment, the CEO is not commenting on MEA's future plans. He has always been a very secretive CEO, however it's expected that MEA will start expanding, especially for preparation to join Skyteam.

MEA will definately be the next Qatar Airways/Emirates.

Regards
"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
 
AF Cabin Crew
Topic Author
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RE: MEA's Regional Network

Wed Oct 08, 2003 10:25 am

BA,

You are good and quick !!!
MEA has a good coverage of the region, yet I think it is necessary that they fly daily to all the arab peninsula destination and if possible open new routes like BAH, DAH, Muscat, Colombo, Male etc...
I know some of these destinations might be difficult out of BEY but after they join SkyTeam, they might be able to launch these routes with the alliance partner being able to feed BEY with passengers...
Ia Maitai to tatou tere !
 
flyingchoirboy
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RE: MEA's Regional Network

Wed Oct 08, 2003 12:02 pm

I hope they don't plan on flying to Tel Aviv anytime soon...that would be a disaster. Have they ever flown there before?
 
BA
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RE: MEA's Regional Network

Wed Oct 08, 2003 12:09 pm

AF Cabin Crew,

MEA used to serve all the destinations you listed except Male until 1998. They cut them as part of there restructuring. They will probably reinstate some of them in the near future.

BEY is actually one of the biggest markets from the Gulf. It's the vacation spot of all rich Gulf people. Saudi Arabian, Kuwait Airways, all fly 747s during the summer and Emirates flies in multiple 777-300s.

However, MEA suffers greatly from competition in BEY due to the Open Skies agreement which is why they aren't as big as they could be.

That will hopefully change though.

Flyingchoirboy,

No, nor are they allowed to.

Only Egyptian and Jordanian registered aircraft and airlines are allowed to fly to Israel.
"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
 
airxliban
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RE: MEA's Regional Network

Wed Oct 08, 2003 1:03 pm

they used to fly to what is now israel in the 1940's. they operated from beirut to some cities in the region that would have been referred to as Palestine, for example present day Haifa, using De Havilland Rapides.
PARIS, FRANCE...THE BEIRUT OF EUROPE.
 
Korg747
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RE: MEA's Regional Network

Wed Oct 08, 2003 1:15 pm

Egyption (Egyptair) aircrafts that fly to Israel. They took the titles off. There is 2 A321 and 2 737.


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BA
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RE: MEA's Regional Network

Wed Oct 08, 2003 1:17 pm

Yes, Egypt Air and Royal Jordanian both fly to Israel.

That's because Jordan and Egypt both signed peace treaties with Israel. Lebanon, Syria, and all other Arab nations have not.

Now please let us get back to the original topic.....
"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
 
MEA321
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RE: MEA's Regional Network

Wed Oct 08, 2003 1:35 pm



It is definitely a very exciting time for Lebanon and MEA! They used to serve CPH back in 1998, and before that. However the route, like BA indicated, was cut due to restructuring after the new CEO took over.

There is definitely a lot of potential in that market, I know that this summer there were SAS flights direct from CPH and ARN (Stockholm) to Beirut. It was only for the summer however. The Scandinavians love traveling, and there is also a high concentration of Lebanese in both countries.

From what I understand, Air France doesn't want MEA to go into CPH because it will direct a lot of traffic away from Paris. However, I hope this changes soon.
MEA321
 
BA
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RE: MEA's Regional Network

Wed Oct 08, 2003 1:40 pm

From what I understand, Air France doesn't want MEA to go into CPH because it will direct a lot of traffic away from Paris. However, I hope this changes soon.

That's quite interesting.

I know the CPH service was an extension off of the FRA service.

Regards
"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
 
airxliban
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RE: MEA's Regional Network

Wed Oct 08, 2003 3:52 pm

According to a source in MEA, many of the passengers heading from copenhagen to beirut connect through Geneva. Fly SAS into GVA and then continue with MEA to lebanon
PARIS, FRANCE...THE BEIRUT OF EUROPE.
 
MEA321
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RE: MEA's Regional Network

Thu Oct 09, 2003 12:16 am

According to a source in MEA, many of the passengers heading from copenhagen to beirut connect through Geneva. Fly SAS into GVA and then continue with MEA to lebanon

Very good point. This summer the CPH-BEY route was hotly contested. I remember reading an article about MEA's relationship with Air France in regards to their European route network in Le Monde (french newspaper) over the summer. It specifically mentioned CPH as a destination that Air France didn't want MEA to go into. If I find the article online ill send a link in a later post.
MEA321
 
EurostarVA
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RE: MEA's Regional Network

Thu Oct 09, 2003 1:22 am

I don't see MEA fit to become a significant part of SkyTeam unless they reinstate flights to Bahrain, Doha, Muscat and maybe Yemen. Otherwise, what's the point if AF cannot book passengers to those locations (that it doesn't serve) via Beirut? They might book them via Amsterdam (KLM) but that would show that KLM, ironically, has more Middle Eastern coverage than Middle East Airlines !

I am very optimistic about MEA's SkyTeam plans but I think that they must be more aggressive in their quest. I personally think they just have a few more routes to add (and maybe a bit more frequencies) to allow them a meaningful entry into SkyTeam.

This is what I suggest about new routes:

BEY-BAH-DOH (3-4 weekly initially)
BEY-MCT-Colombo(uhh code) (3 weekly)


More frequencies:

BEY-CAI (3 or 4 extra frequencies to feed traffic from CDG)
BEY-DAM (more frequencies will be used to travellers as this airport is not
served well as DXB is).

of course, with time, they might be able to add 2nd daily flights to Amman, Cairo, Jeddah, Riadh and Dubai (all the better for SkyTeam).

EurostarVA
If there is a will, there is a way
 
mozart
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RE: MEA's Regional Network

Thu Oct 09, 2003 2:04 am

Is it already DECIDED that MEA will join Skyteam? By when? It would be great news!!

I also hope they do what many people in other posts have forecasted, ie go to Sao Paulo, Sydney and Montreal.
 
airxliban
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RE: MEA's Regional Network

Thu Oct 09, 2003 2:16 am

I don't know how likely it would be for them to reinstate flights to Damascus.

To get from beirut to damascus by road, it is about a 2.5 hour ordeal and it costs 10 dollars. if there was an air route, you'd have to be at the airport what at least 1.5 hours in advance...and then about 45 minutes to fly...that already makes it futile.

In any event, I'm not sure how big the market for syria is but something tells me they can't even fill a couple A321s a week. Perhaps somecan can verify/refute this. When MEA used to have the route going, what were the load factors like?

It looks like El-Hout will have to start making some decisions if MEA is going to be an effective SkyTeam member. Frequencies to saudi arabia, amman and cairo should not be a problem, but perhaps some of the more remote destinations in the gulf could use some services.

Regards
PARIS, FRANCE...THE BEIRUT OF EUROPE.
 
EurostarVA
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RE: MEA's Regional Network

Thu Oct 09, 2003 3:08 am

@AirxLiban,

Sorry, by DAM I meant DMM (Dammam). Damascus could work with 2 daily flights operated by a 20-seater aircraft. Definitely not with Airbus equipment. But doesn't Syrian Arab Airlines fly to Beirut? Are they offering still BEY-DXB?

The limiting problem in the Middle East is the lack of regional airports and many bilateral restrictions. This means there aren't many choices for local route expansion (at the moment, maybe the aeropolitical situation might soon change with exotic routes like BEY-Sharm El Sheikh, BEY-Alexandria, BEY-Aqaba being a reality, but I dont see this within the next few years).

Given the lack of choices for expansion, and given that other airports like Dubai, Jeddah, Amman are decently well-served by European carriers, it remains to be seen how MEA can carve a promising role for it in SkyTeam.

EurostarVA
If there is a will, there is a way
 
7E7
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RE: MEA's Regional Network

Thu Oct 09, 2003 3:42 am

There are many routes (mentioned in a previous post) that ME can enter with little competition or strong demand.

From the rate things are going (pretty slow I guess), ME), MEA needs another 3-5 years before attempting longer haul routes.
Once Iraq becomes stable, that will provide a lift to all middle eastern carriers.

Speaking at a smaller scale, there is certainly space for a regional network (Greece, Turkey, Cyprus, Syria, Iraq, Jordan, Egypt) to be strengthened with ATR's or Saab's, even BAe's, especially during holiday seasons.

More specific, Rene Mouawad Airport (KYE) can be setup as a regional hub with frequent connections to BEY. I read an article in a newspaper (Can not remember which) about a project of building a terminal with modern facilities at KYE to make it a centre for charters into the nearby city Tripoli's expo.



[Edited 2003-10-08 20:45:19]
 
MEA-707
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RE: MEA's Regional Network

Thu Oct 09, 2003 3:57 am

I will be in Lebanon next week ! Exciting to read about MEA... Does anyone of you know about some specials they might have and where to book? As I am there quite long it would be great to fly MEA again (last time was in 1995, great flights on all their types then, 720, 707 and A-310) if they have specials ($150ish) to Larnaca or Cairo or so.
nobody has ever died from hard work, but why take the risk?
 
BA
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RE: MEA's Regional Network

Thu Oct 09, 2003 5:20 am

I don't see MEA fit to become a significant part of SkyTeam unless they reinstate flights to Bahrain, Doha, Muscat and maybe Yemen. Otherwise, what's the point if AF cannot book passengers to those locations (that it doesn't serve) via Beirut? They might book them via Amsterdam (KLM) but that would show that KLM, ironically, has more Middle Eastern coverage than Middle East Airlines !

I really disagree. MEA doesn't need to serve many destinations in the Middle East in order to be a useful Skyteam carrier.

Please keep in mind that MEA already provides connections for Air France from Paris to Kuwait, Abu Dhabi, Jeddah, and Dubai.

Air France already serves Kuwait, Jeddah, and Dubai. However, the MEA feed provides additional possibilites for Air France, thus this benefits Air France passengers and Air France itself.

MEA doesn't need to grow quickly. You are asking too much of MEA. They will grow when needed and only to places they need to serve.

Bahrain, Muscat, Doha, and Sanaa are already well served by other carriers and MEA doesn't need to serve them.

If MEA serves these destinations, they will fail miserably. Don't forget EurostarVA, that MEA used to serve ALL those destinations you listed, but they were simply unprofitable and as a result MEA was losing millions. If MEA starts serving those markets again, they will start losing millions again.

I am very optimistic about MEA's SkyTeam plans but I think that they must be more aggressive in their quest. I personally think they just have a few more routes to add (and maybe a bit more frequencies) to allow them a meaningful entry into SkyTeam.

Again, I disagree. If MEA grows too much, they will start to suffer as they were before. MEA is aiming to have high frequencies. They are plenty sufficient to provide connections. MEA doesn't need more frequencies on the Middle East destinations they serve. They serve them more than sufficiently. MEA serves all Middle East destinations higher than its competitors with the exception of Dubai.

BEY-BAH-DOH (3-4 weekly initially)
BEY-MCT-Colombo(uhh code) (3 weekly)


Maybe in the future, not for a couple years. MEA served BEY-DOH-CMB until 1998.

BEY-CAI (3 or 4 extra frequencies to feed traffic from CDG)

CAI is served plenty enough. Daily A321 is more than sufficient for the route. Don't forget that Egypt Air operates the route on a daily basis as well.

I've flown BEY-CAI several times and it's never full. Maybe 60-70%. The frequency it's served at is perfect.

BEY-DMM (more frequencies will be used to travellers as this airport is not
served well as DXB is).


Starting November 1, MEA is increasing BEY-DMM from 2x weekly to 3x weekly. That's plenty enough.

Is it already DECIDED that MEA will join Skyteam? By when? It would be great news!!

Yes, in two years.

Given the lack of choices for expansion, and given that other airports like Dubai, Jeddah, Amman are decently well-served by European carriers, it remains to be seen how MEA can carve a promising role for it in SkyTeam.

Yes, the destinations MEA serves are already served by Skyteam, but that's still irrelevant. The point is MEA would be providing additional feed (more options) to Skyteam customers.

I have a feeling also that MEA joining Skyteam would mostly be for the benefit of MEA as well. Air France which helped out MEA throughout the 90's is the one that invited MEA and I feel they invited them to further strengthen MEA. In the future as MEA gets more passengers through Skyteam, they can expand and add new routes to the Middle East, but not before.

Once MEA joins Skyteam, I think you will start to see them expand quite a bit. But before that, I see them only doing minimal expansion if any at all.
"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
 
OD720
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RE: MEA's Regional Network

Thu Oct 09, 2003 6:18 am

7E7,

The Rene Mouawad airport would only see operations when low-cost infiltrates the Middle Eastern market. The thing is that Tripoli (Trablous) is only 80k (50miles) from Beirut.

MEA 707,

You might be able to get a round trip to Larnaca at that price. I know you have great respect for MEA and I respect that myself.
If you need any help during your stay, please email me, it's in my profile. By the way, excellent job with airlinerlist.

Best regards.
 
EurostarVA
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RE: MEA's Regional Network

Thu Oct 09, 2003 6:33 am

BA,

I think your argument is more locally-oriented than globally-oriented which is what an airline alliance is all about.

I do agree with you however, after some thought, that considerable expansion will result from higher exposure AFTER joining SkyTeam. However, I think you will have to agree with me that MEA has some homework to do (as every airline wishing to join a gobal alliance) related to more route consolidation and frequency increases. It will take more clever thinking and marketing from Mr. Hout.

The expansion I talked about must be swift following en entry into SkyTeam.
The reason why BAH, DOH and MCT didn't work before was because of poor networking/scheduling and marketing. Granted, Gulf Air offers connections to Australia and this helps to fill its flights from Beirut, but don't forget that the Gulf is the strongest origin point of tourists flocking to Lebanon, so there would be a market for a BEY-BAH-DOH or BEY-DMM-BAH route and triangle flights permit more frequencies.

I think we agree on most of the issues and the rest is just formalities on how to implement these growth strategies.

EurostarVA




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cedarjet
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RE: MEA's Regional Network

Thu Oct 09, 2003 8:20 am

I read quite a big article in the travel section of a British Sunday broadsheet that said Lebanon is enjoying massive increases in Arab tourism, that rich Gulf Arabs who used to spend the summer in the US are now going to Lebanon, because in the wake of 9/11 they're having trouble entering the US or being allowed in but interviewed / fingerprinted etc. Since Lebanon has been completely stable since 1991 and the Israeli occupation of the south ended a few years ago, it's returning to it's original role as the playground of the Middle East. The mountains above Beirut are very cool, perfect in fact, even in mid-summer (although Beirut, at sea level the base of the mountains, is a sweltering furnace of course). Some Lebanese friends of mine in Shemlan who used to live there before the war (sat it out in Brisbane Australia) and have now returned say that the quiet mountain towns (Aley et al) are now thriving entertainment meccas. I stayed with them for a few weeks in 2001 and one night they went to Broumanna and when they came back they looked stunned, one of them described it as 'complete madness' (but in a good way).

When I was there I was surprised at how much tourism came from Iran. Although most of the Iranian families I saw dragging their kids through the (astounding) caves near Jounieh probably arrived courtesy of an Iran Airtours (or similar) Tu154, rather than one of MEA's spiffy PTV-equipped luxury A321s.
fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
 
airxliban
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RE: MEA's Regional Network

Thu Oct 09, 2003 10:49 am

@7E7

Rene Mouawad Airport is more like a piece of tarmac.

It is certainly quite unusable at the present state, any idea what the details are on the plans to build a terminal?

I think it is significantly more pointless than the presence of Paphos. Not to say that Paphos is useless, but it clearly isn't indispensable.

Tripoli is really not that far from Beirut by road and the demand would be mostly VFR. I highly doubt it could support traffic from anywhere (except Beirut with Concordes twice daily and A380s on friday afternoons).

Still though, if another airfield is to be opened up in Lebanon, may it be anything but Halate.

Regards

Air Liban
PARIS, FRANCE...THE BEIRUT OF EUROPE.
 
7E7
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RE: MEA's Regional Network

Thu Oct 09, 2003 2:33 pm

Airxliban, I somewhat agree with you.

But having another operational airport in Lebanon would certainly be a benefit for tourists and for locals. Don't forget some people have to travel 140km within Lebanon to get to BEY and vice versa.

All what I am suggesting is having a couple props going between BEY and KYE few times a day. Some of these flights could continue onwards to Cyprus, Northern Syria, Southern Turkey, Iraq.

Perhaps this may be the best time to setup such infrastructure so that in the future (hopefully within the next decade or so) a strong network would be well established. One point worth mentioning here is, people from the Syrian coast could also benefit from a nearby hub (no matter how small it is).

 
FlySSC
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RE: MEA's Regional Network

Fri Oct 10, 2003 12:57 am

BA,
Air France doesn't fly anymore to Kuwait-City (KWI). The line was closed in 1997, it is planned to be re-opened next year, operated by A319LR in all business configuration (48 seats ).

MEA was used to fly from BEY to DAM, but only for "political" reasons, as DAM is less than 100 km from BEY, and there was only like 3 or 4 PAX on each flights !



By the way...I'll fly to BEY on ME210/AF564 (A321) sunday morning...if I can get on the flight as it is, as usual, fully booked
 
EurostarVA
Posts: 1205
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RE: MEA's Regional Network

Fri Oct 10, 2003 3:30 am

FLYSSC,

What is your source for the Air France service to KWI next year? Will it be operated by PrivatAir?

I think it would be premature for the development of a secondary airport in Lebanon for tourism. Does someone know how many tourists land in Cyprus every year? I would imagine more than Lebanon and that would justify another airport at Paphos.

Thanks,

EurostarVA
If there is a will, there is a way
 
FlySSC
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RE: MEA's Regional Network

Fri Oct 10, 2003 4:41 am

EurostarVA,

The first 2 A319LR will be leased from ILFC and operated by Air France, with AF crew.
They will be used to "Petroleum" destinations with high business traffic and very few or none tourist traffic :

BAKU (Azerbaidjan), POINTE-NOIRE ( Congo ), MALABO (Guinea ), ATYRAU (Kazakhstan).

KWI & THR are still uncertain : A319LR Business-only flight, or "normal" A332 service...it's not decided yet.
 
kamboi
Posts: 118
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RE: MEA's Regional Network

Fri Oct 10, 2003 6:37 am

I would've preferred MEA bought 757-300s instead of the A321 and 777-200 instead of th A330-200. This probably would've let the US lift the restriction of MEA frlying to the US. I think it will be a very busy line year round. Also does anyone like MEAs color compared to the 80s and early 90s. I thnk they are due for a new look.
 
airxliban
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RE: MEA's Regional Network

Fri Oct 10, 2003 7:44 am

Kamboi,

I highly doubt that buying US planes would have anything to do with lifting the sanctions. In any event, the pilots were already used to modern airbus aircraft.

At first, I intensely disliked the new colour scheme...but come to think about it, I don't think the A330s would look good in the old livery...for the same reason that I don't think the A330 would look good in the Alitalia livery.
PARIS, FRANCE...THE BEIRUT OF EUROPE.
 
kamboi
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RE: MEA's Regional Network

Fri Oct 10, 2003 7:49 am

AirxLiban,

I agree about the color scheme. They should not go back to the old red and white, but be more stylish. I thought they could've borrowed from BA's tail design of a waving flag. The MEA logo on the side with the 3 colors are not bold enough to stand out.
 
FlySSC
Posts: 5186
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RE: MEA's Regional Network

Fri Oct 10, 2003 7:50 am

Kamboi,
Maybe the 757-300 & 777-200 would have been better ...for POLITICAL reasons only... ( not even sure about that...) !!! because for MEA operations, these types would be far too BIG !!! the A321 and A332 are perfect for MEA needs and network. For the moment.

Mea now colors are nice... Personally, I would change...the name !!! MEA doesn't mean anything (well I know : it means Middle East Airline, what is "Middle East" ??? )

I would have prefer : AIR LIBAN !!! or at least the old name : MEA-AIR LIBAN !

This country deserve its National Airline carries its name around the world ! (rather than "Middle East"...yark...!  Angry )
 
kamboi
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RE: MEA's Regional Network

Fri Oct 10, 2003 7:55 am

FLYSSC

Totally agree. Even a name chnage to an official AIR LIBAN would hearld a new era for the company with it's new planes plus of course new livery.
 
CPH-R
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RE: MEA's Regional Network

Fri Oct 10, 2003 8:05 am

As for the CPH service, wasn't it Snowflak that had the honour of flying that route? Or was it mainline? I can't remember, but if it was the former, I'm not sure if there would be a market for a all-frills airline.
 
OD720
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RE: MEA's Regional Network

Fri Oct 10, 2003 4:12 pm

Wasn't the decision to buy Airbus was taken before even the US put the sanctions. As I remember, they considered the A310 and the B767 and chose the former and put an order with Airbus. As we all know, this order was later cancelled.

The A321 is superior to the 757 so if they have gone for a Boeing fleet, they probably would have chosen the B737-900 which is almost the same size as the A321.
The B777 is an excellent machine but if you're looking for something smaller, the market has only got the A330-200 to offer.
 
EurostarVA
Posts: 1205
Joined: Thu May 16, 2002 12:24 am

RE: MEA's Regional Network

Sat Oct 11, 2003 12:23 am

I strongly disagree with all the talk of discontinuing the use of the MEA name. The MEA brand is known extensively around the world, pretty amazing for an airline flying 9 aircraft. I don't think that it is associated with war anymore. What I would do is like some of you suggested, adding "Air Liban" would make sense... "MEA-Air Liban".....but how would this be applied on the fuselage?

I think that the frame work of MEA's livery is nice but it needs some addition.. it would need some modern waving stripe, to complement the beautiful large MEA titles (which should be retained!!)

EurostarVA
If there is a will, there is a way
 
pzurita1
Posts: 1188
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RE: MEA's Regional Network

Sat Oct 11, 2003 2:15 am

May be a naïve question:
Why does ME and MS fly to KAN?
I know little about Nigerian demoeconomics. What is there in Kano that Middle East airlines fly there?

Who else (international) fly to KAN?


PZ
Next flight: IAH-DBX-MRU-ANT
 
EurostarVA
Posts: 1205
Joined: Thu May 16, 2002 12:24 am

RE: MEA's Regional Network

Sat Oct 11, 2003 2:42 am

Pzurita1,

There is a large Lebanese community in Nigeria and other parts of West Africa such as Ivory Coast, Ghana and Liberia. They immigrated there before and after the Lebanese civil war. Some have immigrated a long time ago but most have done so during the oil-boom that Nigeria witnessed in the 1970s. The Lebanese community is very prominent in Nigerian business.

You know, Lebanese immigrants are spread around the world, with the largest community being in Brazil, where it is said the number of people of Lebanese origin exceeds the population of Lebanon itself (3.5 million)!

I guess this would answer your questions. Now for EgyptAir, I would think there is a mix of traffic patterns....Nigerian people studying in Egypt or working in Egypt, or Egyptian professionals working in Nigeria. I doubt there is a large Egyptian community in Nigeria however. I would imagine EgyptAir serves as a connecting carrier as well to other parts of the Middle East such as Saudi Arabia, which lacks regular flights to Nigeria since Nigeria Airways went under and Saudi Arabian discontinued its flights to Kano due to technical/security reasons.

As far as I know KLM still flies to KAN, with a triangle flight AMS-KAN-ABV (Abuja)-AMS. BA stopped flying there as well. The runway condition was thought to be a major reason but this has been fixed and a new air terminal is scheduled to open soon.

Thanks,

EurostarVA







If there is a will, there is a way

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