AF022
Topic Author
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Lebanon And Bahrain Sign Open Skies Deal

Thu Jan 15, 2004 1:34 am

As reported in Gulf Daily News

MANAMA: Lebanon has become the first country to enter a full open skies agreement with Bahrain.

A mutual agreement gives the national carriers Gulf Air and Middle East Airlines the right to operate unlimited flights between the two countries and from airports within them to any other countries.

The deal also allows the airlines to fly an unlimited number of passengers and to operate an unlimited number of cargo flights, says Bahrain's Civil Aviation Affairs (CAA).

The agreement was signed in Beirut between CAA Under-Secretary Abdul Rahman Al Gaoud and Lebanese Civil Aviation director-general Dr Hamdi Shouq.

The deal may open the doors for Bahrain to sign similar agreements with other Arab countries, said the CAA.

 
MEA321
Posts: 381
Joined: Mon Oct 06, 2003 11:28 am

RE: Lebanon And Bahrain Sign Open Skies Deal

Thu Jan 15, 2004 3:00 am

Im sorry but I fail to see how Lebanon is benefiting from this?

Bahrain and Gulf Air will benefit very much as Lebanon makes an ideal transit stop for onward flights to Africa and even Europe. But Lebanon eastward? I can hardly see Bahrain as a transit stop for Asian Countries or even Australia.

MEA321
MEA321
 
airxliban
Posts: 4285
Joined: Wed Oct 01, 2003 12:14 pm

RE: Lebanon And Bahrain Sign Open Skies Deal

Thu Jan 15, 2004 3:19 am

Interestingly, it wasn't reported in the Daily Star today.

I guess we'll see, MEA doesn't even fly to Bahrain now, maybe they will start.

Gulf Air however does.

Not sure what to think of this.
PARIS, FRANCE...THE BEIRUT OF EUROPE.
 
GoMEA
Posts: 162
Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2004 5:21 am

RE: Lebanon And Bahrain Sign Open Skies Deal

Thu Jan 15, 2004 3:29 am

Well, I'm indeed very concerned with this decision. I hardly see MEA benefiting from this agreement.

Just check out the Gulf Air fleet: 11 A320, 6 B767, 6 A330 & 8 A340. They could easily flood BEY with cheap rates while using BEY as a hub to Europe, Africa and the Americas.

Still don't know however it they have 5th freedom rights on the BEY route.

Waiting for the experts' feedback  Smile

Regards
MEA raising the Cedar far up in the sky
 
airxliban
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Joined: Wed Oct 01, 2003 12:14 pm

RE: Lebanon And Bahrain Sign Open Skies Deal

Thu Jan 15, 2004 3:32 am

True but who would want to go from Bahrain to a lot of those places?

With the exception of Venezuela, what would they benefit from Beirut as a hub. I guess this could just be a diplomatic issue but that doesn't really make sense either.
PARIS, FRANCE...THE BEIRUT OF EUROPE.
 
cedarjet
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RE: Lebanon And Bahrain Sign Open Skies Deal

Thu Jan 15, 2004 3:35 am

"MEA doesn't even fly to Bahrain now." Exactly - it's not exactly going to revolutionise air travel like, say, a UK/US open skies agreement. (Although I flew on an MEA 707 from Bahrein to Beirut in 94, even then it was only a weekly service.)

That said, I think Lebanon's policy of allowing complete deregulation - anyone can fly to and from Beirut to anywhere else - is a great idea, as proved by the explosive growth of air travel to the jewel of the Med. It may seem to be at MEA's expense but increasing destinations and frequency increases visitors to Lebanon which is good for the country, and what's good for the country is good for MEA.
fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
 
MEA321
Posts: 381
Joined: Mon Oct 06, 2003 11:28 am

RE: Lebanon And Bahrain Sign Open Skies Deal

Thu Jan 15, 2004 6:19 am

Cedarjet brings up a good point.

Will MEA boost Lebanon economically as much as BEY itself? The answer is no. Lebanon needs the airport to be strong, and wants MEA to be on top. Needs always overcome wants, and so on, and so forth. I think that the Lebanese government made a good decision in deregulating because it has brought more traffic to Lebanon, and with it has attracted more business hence. Deregulation is also meant to weed out the slackers, in this case there is only one can be affected, MEA. We should be extremely proud that MEA has been able to survive under such a fierce environment.
MEA321
 
yegbey01
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Joined: Wed Nov 05, 2003 11:04 am

RE: Lebanon And Bahrain Sign Open Skies Deal

Thu Jan 15, 2004 6:27 am

But for how long......

There are some serious market gaps in BEY right now... ZRH, BRU just to name a few. MEA needs to cope with the increasing demand soon before it's too late. if MEA doesn;t get its act together, it will fail miserabily in the near future.
 
BA
Posts: 10133
Joined: Fri May 19, 2000 11:06 am

RE: Lebanon And Bahrain Sign Open Skies Deal

Thu Jan 15, 2004 7:08 am

I don't think MEA will fly to Bahrain when they fly to Dammam (DMM).

Dammam actually sadly has been losing flights on a yearly basis. Many people in the Eastern province of Saudi Arabia are driving across the causeway to Bahrain to catch their flights instead of flying out of Dammam and sadly the Saudi government is not doing anything to improve the situation.

Dammam King Fahad Int'l is Saudi Arabia's newest airport replacing the old Dhahran Airport that is now King Abdulaziz AFB.

However, Saudi Arabia hasn't done a good job marketting the airport and are pushing airlines to serve Riyadh and Jeddah instead, particularly the European airlines.

Operating costs and landing fees in Dammam are also very high, much higher than in Bahrain Int'l. Getting permission from the Saudi government to fly to Dammam is also much more difficult and time consuming. It is much easier to recieve rights to fly to Bahrain.

MEA actually does quite well in Dammam (DMM), they upgraded the service from 2x weekly to 3x weekly and I hear flights are always full. The only way I see them flying to Bahrain is if they decide to start Asia flights and want to make a stop in Bahrain, or if they discontinue Dammam in favor of Bahrain which I don't think they will do.

So I don't see this deal affecting MEA much, but it is good for Gulf Air and opens up new opportunities for the future.

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

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