yegbey01
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MEA Will Announce Three New Routes

Tue Dec 30, 2003 12:39 pm

MEA will announce three new routes:

BEY-Khartoum-Libreville (1 weekly)
BEY-Cotouno-Conackry (1 weekly)
BEY-GRU (2 weekly)


No timelines have been set yet, but the Lebanese government is so concerned about the safety of Lebanese living abroad especially after the tragedy of the UTA flight last week and it decided to swallow any losses on the West African flights for three years.


Wonderful to hear that some governments are willing to do whatever it takes to secure the safety of their citizens
 
airxliban
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RE: MEA Will Announce Three New Routes

Tue Dec 30, 2003 2:42 pm

indeed it is. Are we still assuming that BEY-GRU is via dakar? Of course anyone would rather fly MEA than the UTA of late, at least I suppose so. ALthough i didn't think that there was a market for flights into sudan. We'll see I guess.

They will definitely need more aircraft for these plans. Hope to hear about them soon.

Thanks for the update Yegbey.
PARIS, FRANCE...THE BEIRUT OF EUROPE.
 
AF022
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RE: MEA Will Announce Three New Routes

Tue Dec 30, 2003 11:18 pm

MEA only has 3 A330s - and the COOCKY and GRU flights will have to use A330s rather than the A321s.

Are they pulling the A330s out of LHR to put on these routes? I think COOCKY is good - ESPECIALLY if they can get 6th-freedom COOCKY, but GRU? These far-flung destinations almost put them in a hole once.

The previous GRU flights operated BEY-ABJ-GRU and they did tremendous 6th freedom business as there is no West Africa - South America link, but they are going to have a challenge filling the flights if two weekly operate nonstop or even Dakar.
 
OD720
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RE: MEA Will Announce Three New Routes

Tue Dec 30, 2003 11:57 pm

I was just just told that it these new destinations have already been officially anounced. Is it true? Is it also true that BEY-GRU will be non-stop? If so, they will definitely need something in the A340 class.

 
MAH4546
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RE: MEA Will Announce Three New Routes

Tue Dec 30, 2003 11:58 pm

but they are going to have a challenge filling the flights if two weekly operate nonstop or even Dakar

They will have zero trouble filling the flights. They might have trouble producing good yield, but none filling them.
a.
 
AF022
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RE: MEA Will Announce Three New Routes

Wed Dec 31, 2003 12:30 am

Well that goes without saying. If they sold the tickets for $1 each way they would fill them, but they will have trouble making a profit on the route. It will probably be a strictly O&D market, I don't know how they can do it.

I'm also interested in how this was announced. If Yegbey has a secret source, that's cool, but if it was announced I'd be interested in seeing where it was announced.

AF022
 
MAH4546
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RE: MEA Will Announce Three New Routes

Wed Dec 31, 2003 12:38 am

It will probably be a strictly O&D market, I don't know how they can do it.

Brazil's Lebanesse community is one of the largest in the world. Up there with Montreal and Paris. Sao Paulo is the largest concentration. AFAIK, there are moe Lebanese in Brazil than all of Lebanon (that is the case with more than just Brazil, too).
a.
 
yegbey01
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RE: MEA Will Announce Three New Routes

Wed Dec 31, 2003 12:40 am

Tickets to/from West Africa-BEY sell for at least $1000 US. So bottom line is, not too cheap for a 6 or a 7 hour flight.


By the way, MEA will be making huge changes to their schedules this spring/summer. More flights to DXB (will be 2x daily) and the departure times are entirely different.

Also, their flights to ATH will leave in the evening rather than the morning. Their flights to West Africa will all leave in th afternoon rather than 2 in the morning.

So I am sure we will hear more in the very near future.
 
AF022
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RE: MEA Will Announce Three New Routes

Wed Dec 31, 2003 12:43 am

As far as I know they have trouble with the ethnic markets - Australia, Montreal - because [a] these passengers are looking for super-cheapo fares and [b] it is highly seasonal. Even AC wouldn't dream of serving BEY-YMQ in the off-season.

Ripping apart a schedule is very dangerous. I hope they know what they are doing.
 
OD720
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RE: MEA Will Announce Three New Routes

Wed Dec 31, 2003 3:49 pm

There isn't a lot of traffic from Cotonou (COO) and we all know that this one's related to the recent tragic crash there. Wouldn't it be wise to get a smaller jet to operate on that route, like A319?
Or if they need the range, the A330 is too big, will they go back and lease an A310? Emirates still uses one for similar reasons.

Best regards.
 
AirGAbon
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RE: MEA Will Announce Three New Routes

Wed Dec 31, 2003 7:16 pm

I'M SO HAPPY IF MEA FLIES TO LIBREVILLE (LBV) GABON !!!!
We want to see their A330 at Léon M'ba Airport.

REgards.

GN.
 
BA
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RE: MEA Will Announce Three New Routes

Wed Dec 31, 2003 7:22 pm

I am dissappointed with the announcement to Cotonou and Conakry as I don't believe there is sufficient demand for these routes. They would definately have to be very highly subsidized by the government. Where is this money coming from? The country is in debt.

Why do the Lebanese people demand that their be direct flights to these routes? Let them connect via CDG on Air France. What's the big deal? I'm really disappointed. These routes are at most only seasonal.

Abidjan, Kano, Accra, and Lagos make sense. Cotonou and Conakry do not...

The Lebanese govt. shouldn't have allowed the UTA flights in the first place and made Lebanese connect in CDG. It's really that simple.

I live in DEN. Should I go ask MEA to start a non-stop BEY-DEN flight for me because I fly between the two regularly? No, I connect through LHR and I have no problem doing so.

Good to hear about Khartoum. This route is needed. Not really sure about Libreville though.....

Interesting about GRU, we'll have to hear more.

AF002,

Actually, AC was thinking about extending BEY-YUL to year-round because their was demand well after. Also yields on the route were higher than expected so they upgraded the flight to an international configured 767 rather than a domestic configured one.

Also keep in mind that GRU and SYD failed in the 90's. The current MEA is not the same as the MEA of the 90's......

The MEA in the 90's was an extremely inefficient, poorly run airline with an aging fleet losing millions each year. MEA is now an extremely efficient airline, with a very low cost structure, with an efficient modern new fleet turning a profit.

MEA has a much much much much better chance at succeeding in such routes. Not to mention that the market to Lebanon has grown greatly since the 90's....

If MEA is launching all 3 of these routes, there is no question about it. They are getting more planes.

Regards
"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
 
LHR001
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RE: MEA Will Announce Three New Routes

Wed Dec 31, 2003 7:25 pm

It will be very nice to see MEA return to South America. In addition Varig is rumored to be very close to announcing new services to either Mozambique, Angola, or South Africa!


LHR001
 
BA
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RE: MEA Will Announce Three New Routes

Wed Dec 31, 2003 7:47 pm

Yegbey01,

Could you post the source of this? I'd like to read more

Regards
"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
 
AirGAbon
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RE: MEA Will Announce Three New Routes

Wed Dec 31, 2003 7:56 pm

I agree with you, Abidjan, Kano, Accra, and Lagos make sense. I stayed 4 months in Abidjan for my job, and MEA flights were always full.
(Egyptair is also flying Abidjan-Lagos-Cairo with A300, I don't know if the route is profitable for MS ??)

"Not really sure about Libreville though"
An important Lebanese community is living in Gabon. The ideal would be an A321 flying BEY-Khartoum-LBV.

And MEA must fly to DKR (Dakar), one of the largest Lebanese community in West Africa after Ivory Coast.

 
chepos
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RE: MEA Will Announce Three New Routes

Wed Dec 31, 2003 9:40 pm

If they do start a flight to GRU- it would be great to once again see MEA in The Americas.
Chepos
Fly the Flag!!!!
 
MEA310
Posts: 633
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RE: MEA Will Announce Three New Routes

Wed Dec 31, 2003 9:50 pm

I haven't heard any official announcement of the above mentioned routes(Africa).However,the goverment has asked MEA to operate flights to more locations in Africa to ensure the safety of the Lebanese abroad.
I believe that it's too early to determine whether these routes will be served or not,it's just the impact of last week's crash;MEA should consider the costs of these routes & benefits...

MEA310
M5 Fastest Sedan On Earth
 
AF022
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RE: MEA Will Announce Three New Routes

Wed Dec 31, 2003 11:44 pm

As long as MEA is owned by the government, decisions made on new destinations are determined by the whims of the Lebanese government. If the government says fly to COO, it will fly to COO. This airline needs to be privatized.
 
yegbey01
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Joined: Wed Nov 05, 2003 11:04 am

RE: MEA Will Announce Three New Routes

Thu Jan 01, 2004 2:33 am

BA,

This was posted on www.almustaqbal.com (in Arabic) on Monday. The article states that the government has asked MEA to open these routes. MEA has in principle agreed since all losses would be absorbed for three years by the government.

Also, the article mentioned that MEA had been seriously considering expanding into West Africa and Brazil, but the tragic accident accelerated that decision.

T o tell you the truth, I think that these passengers like you mentioned have a good connection through CDG, but then again maybe they should give it a try.
 
planemannyc
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RE: MEA Will Announce Three New Routes

Thu Jan 01, 2004 2:42 am

Why not run a smaller plane but make a stop in Kano or Khartoum on way to Cotonou and Conakry?
 
AF022
Posts: 1630
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RE: MEA Will Announce Three New Routes

Thu Jan 01, 2004 2:57 am

need ETOPS to get to Kano
 
yegbey01
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RE: MEA Will Announce Three New Routes

Thu Jan 01, 2004 2:58 am

They do the BEY-Khartoum-Libreville on an A321 easily
 
AF022
Posts: 1630
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RE: MEA Will Announce Three New Routes

Thu Jan 01, 2004 2:59 am

a big thanks to those that can translate MEA info into english. really appreciate the information.

 
BA
Posts: 10133
Joined: Fri May 19, 2000 11:06 am

RE: MEA Will Announce Three New Routes

Sat Jan 03, 2004 1:25 am

As long as MEA is owned by the government, decisions made on new destinations are determined by the whims of the Lebanese government. If the government says fly to COO, it will fly to COO. This airline needs to be privatized.

The govt. has been trying to privatize MEA for the past 3 years but due to the poor market, they're having trouble.

They have had absolutely no influence on MEA's decisions until this accident when they asked MEA to open up these new African routes.

My question is will MEA get new planes and from where and when?

I still am against the Cotonou/Conakry route as I believe it will be an absolute money loser. The govt. is crazy to absorb all the losses when the country is already $40 billion in debt!

Regards
"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
 
AF022
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RE: MEA Will Announce Three New Routes

Sat Jan 03, 2004 1:44 am

I am pretty sure that MEA started flying to ACC because GH had applied to Lebanon to serve, and Lebanese government insisted that MEA fly to ACC as a tit-for-tat exercise. Even if it is a money-maker now (most likely because of stronger KAN traffic), I don't think MEA intended to fly to ACC
 
BA
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RE: MEA Will Announce Three New Routes

Sat Jan 03, 2004 1:54 am

AF022,

There was an article about Ghana in one of MEA's previous CedarWings issue and they talk about the very large Lebanese community.

Actually ACC was the first African destination they resumed. They very much had intentions of flying this route.

GH flew to BEY for a while but stopped it due to overall financial issues. They are supposed to return however, but I don't know when.

All 4 of MEA's African destinations are huge moneymakers.

Dakar should be the biggest moneymaker if they fly there.

I am very negative about Libreville, Cotonou, and Conakry which all have substantially smaller and poorer Lebanese populations.

Regards
"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
 
AF022
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RE: MEA Will Announce Three New Routes

Sat Jan 03, 2004 2:02 am

Not knowing anything about Dakar's Lebanese population, AF certainly has a strong lock on this market. Although clearly nonstop DKRBEY flights will take a chunk of that traffic away - especially if flights are scheduled to connect to BEYDXB flights - the geographic position of DKR will insure that AF will still be able to offer frequent connections DKRCDGBEY. AF certainly cannot do this with the other African destinations.

af022
 
MarcoPolo747
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RE: MEA Will Announce Three New Routes

Sat Jan 03, 2004 2:19 am


A BIG, WARM WELCOME BACK FOR MEA !! Ahlan Wa Sahlan !

As pointed out, there is a huge Lebanese community in Brazil and the route will be a moneymaker mainly now that Brazil is tightening again its links with the Arab countries. A top diplomatic priority. BEY will become an important connecting point to other Middle East destinations from GRU. Cargo will be an important profit center also.

There are big Lebanese communities in West Africa which will help to fill up seats if an intermediate stop will be included.

...

 
yegbey01
Posts: 1349
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RE: MEA Will Announce Three New Routes

Sat Jan 03, 2004 2:26 am

The only thing thing missing in the puzzle right now is: Will MEA acquire more aircraft? They will need to do so if they are interested in opening these destinations?

On the other hand, what of MEA in conjunction with AF decides to reduce service to CDG and AF could increase its service to BEY. That way, MEA could free up come planes and use them on other routes.

Also, if MEA does join SkyTeam, you wonder how the service to MXP would be affacted. Also a possibility that MEA could reduce service to MXP and FCO and use the aircarft to open new routes.

So after all, MEA doesn't need to buy new aircraft if the SkyTeam thing is for real.

Just a thought!!
 
OD720
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RE: MEA Will Announce Three New Routes

Sat Jan 03, 2004 3:25 am

The way I see it, expansion in inevitable. They will bring in more aircraft and expand the network.
Maybe MXP and/or FCO will be dropped if they ever join SkyTeam but also it is possible for AZ to drop their BEY services. Joining an alliance is got to do with being efficient too and reduce costs. In the future I think there will be major expansion eastwards to the Gulf and beyond to serve the alliance better.

 
AF022
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RE: MEA Will Announce Three New Routes

Sat Jan 03, 2004 4:33 am

from my time on this site there seems to be a number of MEA fans!

FYI, in comparing Jan04 skeds v Jan03 skeds...

Destinations from BEY for all carriers increased by 3, to 42, with new nonstop service to SHJ, MHD, ARN, THR and ALP. Service to BTS and LBV was cancelled. Frequenices increased 9% to 250 departures/week.

For MEA, destinations served remained constant at 22, with frequencies increased by 4/week to 198 departures/week.

I think we would like to see MEA grow cautiously, it seems they are not growing very much, although there has been a lot of chatter about new operations in the summer.

af022
 
yegbey01
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RE: MEA Will Announce Three New Routes

Sat Jan 03, 2004 4:43 am

The Bratislava service is only seasonal. It will return this spring. So are the WAW and VIE service which will also come back during the spring.

Keep in mind that MEA increased capacity by using the new aircraft. One thing though, you also have to keep in mind that passengers flow into BEY is highly seasonal. It goes from 180,000 pax during Nov to 450,000 during August.

This makes it really hard to have year round service for many of the smaller airlines.

I don't know why the Libreville service was cancelled. But those flights were from LBV to DXB with only a stopover in BEY. Maybe, MEA will do well, if the combine the service with Khartoum as was announced.
 
AF022
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RE: MEA Will Announce Three New Routes

Sat Jan 03, 2004 4:53 am

YEGBEY

this is comparing JAN04 to JAN03 to eliminate any seasonal variations. Bratislava was served in Jan03

af022
 
airxliban
Posts: 4285
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RE: MEA Will Announce Three New Routes

Sat Jan 03, 2004 5:18 am

My feeling is as follows:

1) I am excited to see MEA expanding

2) I look forward to hearing definite plans

3) I am somewhat skepitcal of some of these new routes which I fear that they perhaps have not researched well enough

4) I wonder if they are just a governmental response to the tragedy of UTA in Benin

5) I will be interested to hear what fleet arrangements they have made

6) I pray that MEA remains profitable and that the decisions to be taken reflect real market needs which will be lucrative for the company as well as providing value to the communites to be served.
PARIS, FRANCE...THE BEIRUT OF EUROPE.
 
AF022
Posts: 1630
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RE: MEA Will Announce Three New Routes

Sat Jan 03, 2004 5:26 am

HEAR HEAR! couldn't have said it better myself!
 
BA
Posts: 10133
Joined: Fri May 19, 2000 11:06 am

RE: MEA Will Announce Three New Routes

Thu Jan 08, 2004 2:56 am

AF002,

Which carriers served BTS and LBV in Jan 03?

WAW service on LOT was a temporary suspension because they originally had plans to increase the BEY service to continue to Basra, but didn't due to security reasons in Iraq. As a result, the whole thing was canceled and will come back on April 1st and will operate year-round just as it did in the past.

Also AF002, how did you get these specific details of percentages in flight increases. I'm impressed.  Smile

Regards
"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
 
donder10
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RE: MEA Will Announce Three New Routes

Thu Jan 08, 2004 3:05 am

GH flew to BEY for a while but stopped it due to overall financial issues. They are supposed to return however, but I don't know when.

I wouldn't count on it.GH are a farce-they currently only have 1 operational DC10 after 9G-AND(recently picked up form Mojave or one of the others)went seriously tech somewhre in Europe,DUS I think.Their operations to LHR are a lottery-flights arriving 36 hours late etc.Also,could BEY sustain 2 airlines flying the route?
 
BA
Posts: 10133
Joined: Fri May 19, 2000 11:06 am

RE: MEA Will Announce Three New Routes

Thu Jan 08, 2004 3:06 am

Also,could BEY sustain 2 airlines flying the route?

In the summer, yes. Not sure about year-round though...All I know is MEA's West African routes are always full year-round.

Regards
"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
 
AF022
Posts: 1630
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RE: MEA Will Announce Three New Routes

Thu Jan 08, 2004 3:41 am

now that i'm reviewing JAN03 skeds, it appears that BTS wasn't there (my bad!) but GN operated weekly BEYLBV nonstops on Saturdays.

RK flew ABJBEY against ME for a while and I heard the yields crashed to the floor before RK dropped out again. ME does well because of lack of competition.
 
BA
Posts: 10133
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RE: MEA Will Announce Three New Routes

Thu Jan 08, 2004 3:43 am

Where did you find these schedules AF022....

Regards
"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
 
AF022
Posts: 1630
Joined: Fri Dec 26, 2003 10:41 pm

RE: MEA Will Announce Three New Routes

Thu Jan 08, 2004 3:45 am

sugar, we all have our secrets, no? I can't divulge everything about myself! suffice to say I have a lot of airline information stored on my little computer. although i am in architecture, i am a sucker for the airlines, and do pay a little on the side to get my hands on information.
 
GoMEA
Posts: 162
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RE: MEA Will Announce Three New Routes

Thu Jan 08, 2004 4:05 am

Hello all,

great to hear that MEA is opening these new routes (if they are confirmed for real)

I am however somewhat surprised by the Khartoum-Libreville route, but I think considering Africa's airlines quality, Lebanese will prefer to fly MEA.

About GRU, I think it will be a success. As BA stated, I think that MEA is a completely different company from what it was in the 90's: it's efficient and well managed.

Furthermore, 3 year ago, I saw lot of MEA passengers from BEY to CDG connecting for EZE ! So, the GRUBEY flight could also lure some other southern american passengers, thus saving time insteas of connecting in CDG.

Concerning new aircraft, there will be of course. I saw in a forum 2 A330 and 2 A321. This makes sense, having the 4 A330 for daily CDG, LHR and 2 other for GRU, CPH, DXB flights. The 2 other A321 should serve the new african destination and perhaps increase frequencies on gulf routes and european routes.

Regards
MEA raising the Cedar far up in the sky