I just got the new issue of MEA
's in-flight magazine "CedarWings" and I found this article that made me feel so Patriotic that i flet that i HAD to share it with the rest of the world
The Daily Star (A Lebanese Newspaper- printed in English) published this article on Decmeber 12 and MEA
put it in CedarWings. A Wonderful article!
the articles title was:
FLYING HIGHER AND
RETURNING TO IT
National Carrier Has Been Boosted by 9 New Airbus Planes/
'"We are finally arriving to the point of reaping the benefits of our 3 year business plan, whereby MEA
can consider fleet acquisition. Our passengers desver and expect great things of us. By modernizing our fleet with the best product combined with the highest operating efficiency we are offering them the highest standards of comfort and technology and improving the air transport sector in Lebanon'
With these word, Mr. Mohammed El-Hout, chairman-Director General, proudly took delivery of the first of 9 new aircraft (6 A321-200 and 3 A330-200) that make up MEA
's fleet today serving 22 direct destinations that are a gateway to 180 destination with it alliance with Air France.
Middle East Airline (MEA
) much publicized and troubled history has been laid to rest, and the future is much brighter for the national carrier. Nine new airplanes have replaced the old fleet increasing the seating capacity by 20% and profits are expected to rise to 15 million in 2003, the second such achievement in almost 25 five years. (after a profit of 3 million in 2002) Originally established in 1945 by Saebey Salaam, the Lebanon base airline launched its first service between Beirut and neighboring countries of Syria, Cyprus, and Egypt. It wasn't long before the company also established services to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and other important destinations in the gulf. In 1963, the merger with Air Liban allowed MEA
to add even more new European and Middle East destinations to its world wide program, including principle towns and cites in Western Africa.
Despite regular closure of the Beirut International Airport during Lebanon's civil war between 1973 and 1990, the company managed survive renting out airplanes and seconding staff to other international carriers. With the return of normality in 1990 MEA
not only succeed to re-established service to all it pervious destinations, but also strengthened it and improved its network to Europe and the Middle East.
In 1996 The Central Bank Of Lebanon took 99.3 ownership of MEA
and it objectives aligned with those of other international carriers: to live up to the challenges posed by fiercely completive industry, in a increasingly less protected in environment (This was not in the next, but on my own note –aka Open Skies) From 1998 to 2002, MEA
implanted its largest reconstructing ever, turning around the company from a huge annually losses (a $87 million loss in 1997) to a 3 million dollar profit in 2002.
The business plan also included the rationalization of MEA
's network streaming its purchase of policy, cost reduction at all levels of the airline, the launch of the frequent flyer program and yield management systems, as well as a number of other measures destined to modernized and reconstructed the airline.
Such radicalization included to cancellation of long haul and costly flights such as Australia an Brazil, the reduction in the number of destinations from 45 to 22, and the shutting down of active plan form 13 to 9 and the management scrapped all Boeing 707 airplanes and leased nine Airbus planes in 2000, leading to a saving of $25 million a year. iN addition , MEA
saved another $5 million by renegotiating maintenance contracts , and the purchase of fuel.
also formed an alliance with Air France and uses Paris Charles de Gaulle as a hub for the national carrier to fly to 180 destinations including the US and South America and this network redesign has led to a better utilization of the MEA
Parallel to the changes deep within the structure of MEA
the Lebanese government committed itself the building a new international airport capable of handling 6 million passengers a year, which also succeeded in making the country an ideal transit stop for flight to the gulf and the rest of the Middle East.
The chairman of MEA
, Mohammad El-Hout., in a recent interview with The Daily Star projected that his company will generate an operating profit of $15 million at the end of 2003, thanks to the high tourist season and a reconstructing plan, El-Hout expects profits to surge in the future even further if the tourist season remains strong and regional situation remains relatively stable and expects impressive results for 2004.
According to El-Hout, MEA
's image has been further boosted with the purchase of six new Airbus planes and the lease of there more (6 A321 and 3 A330). El-Hout who was appointed by the Central Bank and head of the airline six years ago, said he had the biggest challenge of his career: containing that losses and turning the company into a profitable intuition. He added that he is confident hat MEA
can return to its former glory. ON
FUTURE PLANS, EL
-HOUT SAID MEA
WILL BECON SIDERING NEW
ALLIANCES IN AN
EXPNAD ITS PROFIT HORIZIONS'
As I said- Made me feel so patriotic.
The only reason I started to like aviation was not becasue of the jets the airports, but because of MEA
. It is is the symbol of Lebanon, and in the summer of 2002 i said to myself that I wanted to know more on the international sybmbol of my nation and this lead me to the world of Aviation
Did you guys read that last part. New destinations!- Where are they?
To all those who have a bad impression of Lebanon, you are entitled to your Opinion but you have no idea what your talking about.
Us, Lebanese Aviation fans, have talked and talked about MEA
and BEY now we can reflect on what we have said.
May God Bless MEA
in the years to come. - (I all ways put that in a big thread I put in on MEA
toBEYwithMEAonTHE YOUNGEST IN