BA
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After 14 Years, Beirut Airport Back On Track

Thu May 06, 2004 11:38 am



It has been 14 years since the devastating Civil War in Lebanon ended. The 15-year war caused great damage to the country. However, the country and Lebanon's main airport are finally back on the pre-war track because the airport welcomed more arrivals in 2003 than it did anytime in its previous history.

The airport is continuing its 20-year renovation program with the completion of a VIP terminal next month. They are also planning a cargo village.

Next month also, the Lebanese parliament will grant the airport complete self autonomy. This will happen by replacing the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) with two companies, the Lebanese Civil Aviation Authority (LCAA) which will oversee overall regulation of civil aviation in Lebanon and the Beirut Airport Corporation (BAC) which will administer operations in Beirut International Airport.

It also mentions that Lebanon joins the US and the UK and is the first country in the Middle East having a list of airlines that are banned from Lebanon due to insufficient safety. So far, 5 airlines from various African and Eastern European nations have been banned.

Surprisingly enough, it says that the ban on flights between the US and Lebanon may be lifted sometime this year.

Here is the fantastic article:
http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=1&categ_id=3&article_id=3308

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Photo © Salim Helou


Regards
"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
 
yegbey01
Posts: 1349
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RE: After 14 Years, Beirut Airport Back On Track

Thu May 06, 2004 11:59 am

BA,

Nice article indeed!!!

I know that this US service is a little too optimistic, but what does it mean: One stop check for EU flights???

 
solarix
Posts: 839
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RE: After 14 Years, Beirut Airport Back On Track

Thu May 06, 2004 12:02 pm

That would be great to have the ban lifted on US flights. Just out of curiosity why are USA-Lebanon flights banned?

Congrats to BEY for doing so well!
Bong Hits 4 Jesus
 
BA
Topic Author
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RE: After 14 Years, Beirut Airport Back On Track

Thu May 06, 2004 12:04 pm

The EU is going to encourage European airlines to take advantage of Lebanon's Open Skies policy. For the past month, Lebanese and European aviation officials have been meeting with each other to further expand bilateral ties regarding the aviation sector.

I can definately see Beirut Airport being the gateway for flights to Iraq once the situation there calms down........

Regards
"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
 
BA
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RE: After 14 Years, Beirut Airport Back On Track

Thu May 06, 2004 12:06 pm

Just out of curiosity why are USA-Lebanon flights banned?

In 1983, 241 Marines were killed in an explosion during the Civil War. This event put a permanent grudge against Lebanon from the US government.

Just politics.

Regards
"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
 
toBEYwithMEA
Posts: 298
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RE: After 14 Years, Beirut Airport Back On Track

Thu May 06, 2004 4:55 pm

MEA has A330-243's each flying a max of 12000 km.
does this mean that by 2005 Middle East Airlines-AirLiban can fly non-stop to a US destination?
MEA FLYING HIGH AND RETURING TO IT FORMER GLORY!
 
OD720
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RE: After 14 Years, Beirut Airport Back On Track

Thu May 06, 2004 7:10 pm

BA,

Wasn't the TWA kidnapping the reason why the US put the ban?
 
MEA310
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RE: After 14 Years, Beirut Airport Back On Track

Thu May 06, 2004 7:57 pm

It would be great to have this ban lifted sometime this year,but I highly doubt it will happen anytime soon.The political situation in the region still plays a major role in giving a green light to lift the ban on US-Lebanon flights.

MEA310
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airmale
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RE: After 14 Years, Beirut Airport Back On Track

Thu May 06, 2004 8:05 pm

Can other airlines fly Beirut-US or Beirut-Canada? like Asian carriers.
.....up there with the best!
 
OD720
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RE: After 14 Years, Beirut Airport Back On Track

Thu May 06, 2004 8:12 pm

There are no direct flights between BEY and North America, be that non-stop or with a technical stop. This is due to the ban.

But as you know, many European airlines connect via their hubs.
 
767-332ER
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RE: After 14 Years, Beirut Airport Back On Track

Fri May 07, 2004 1:40 am


Even if the ban was lifted (as it seems it will) I doubt that American carriers will be benefactors of this, due to their financial status and also "desire" for operating into middle eastern cities. CO seems to be the only one operating into TLV, but as we saw with DL and Cairo after 9/11, etc...I doubt this from American carriers. MEA possibly, but would the A332 have the legs to make it to a U.S. city? Maybe it would prompt an order/lease of A340's. I have heard great things about MEA, as they have re-defined themselves and would love to have a chance to fly them and explore this beautiful city. In terms of Iraq, I am very pesimistic of ANY airline flying into Baghdad and actually making the route profitable. Would love to see things straighten out and maybe MEA could get into some routes with A320's, etc...but of course, it's a dream for now.
Regards
Twinjets...if one fails, work the other one twice as hard!!!
 
GoMEA
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RE: After 14 Years, Beirut Airport Back On Track

Fri May 07, 2004 2:00 am

767-332ER,

I doubt that MEA would jump immediately on US routes if the ban was lifted because the company is currently working on rationalizing its operations and targeting profitable routes and working on yield management.

I think they will need time before they expand, let alone upgrade their equipment. Hout's (the CEO) management is cautious and the only solution for now to rebuild MEA's competitive structure.

But why not having US carriers to Lebanon? I'm still waiting for AC's 767 !

regards
MEA raising the Cedar far up in the sky
 
BA
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RE: After 14 Years, Beirut Airport Back On Track

Fri May 07, 2004 4:47 am

OD720,

No it had to do with the Marine Barracks bombing of 1983.

I doubt we will see MEA flying to the US anytime soon although the A330-200s can make it.

Regards
"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
 
BA
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RE: After 14 Years, Beirut Airport Back On Track

Fri May 07, 2004 6:54 am

Does anyone know the 5 airlines that have been banned from Lebanese airspace?

Regards
"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
 
BA
Topic Author
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RE: After 14 Years, Beirut Airport Back On Track

Fri May 07, 2004 12:02 pm

Could anyone explain why suddenly the US might lift the ban on Lebanon and developments that have been made?

Regards
"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
 
MEA310
Posts: 633
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RE: After 14 Years, Beirut Airport Back On Track

Fri May 07, 2004 9:53 pm

BA

Where have you heard about the 5 airlines banned from the Lebanese airspace,one of them is definitely EL AL.

MEA310
M5 Fastest Sedan On Earth
 
L-188
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RE: After 14 Years, Beirut Airport Back On Track

Fri May 07, 2004 10:01 pm

BA, I suspect that it had more to do then with just the bombing, Remember there where a number of hostages taken during that same time frame, a couple where killed. Some spent years in captivity.

So, when are we going to start shipping salmon to your country  Big thumbs up
OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
 
zaphod
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RE: After 14 Years, Beirut Airport Back On Track

Fri May 07, 2004 10:14 pm

It also mentions that Lebanon joins the US and the UK and is the first country in the Middle East having a list of airlines that are banned from Lebanon due to insufficient safety
------------

I know for a fact that the UAE also has a list of Airlines banned at its airports due to insufficient safety practises adopted by the Airline.....

Nigerian Airlines has been banned for a long time and more recently Kish Air, after it crashed near SHJ. However, Kish Air is back again (not too sure what exactly the investigators found...but they have obviously taken the airlines of the banned list)
 
EuroLeb
Posts: 141
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RE: After 14 Years, Beirut Airport Back On Track

Sat May 08, 2004 12:07 am

If the Air Canada's B-763 was supposed to make it direct from Montreal to Beirut, then I guess MEA's A-332 shouldn't have any problems reaching USA's East Coast airports, namely JFK and EWR. I hope these "rumors" do materialize into action soon. As we know, it's been a very long time since those sad events happened and Lebanon was an outlawed state then. Today, Lebanon enjoys a safe and friendly environment that welcomes the citizens of the world, and the US citizens are no exception! If you visit Beirut today, you can see how much the people of Lebanon do embrace the American/Western culture, while preserving their Mid-Eastern identity. I think it's about time that American law makers realize that Lebanon finally deserves a break while leaving the past behind...

Now that being said, I hope someday to see Delta's B-772 at BEY and MEA's A-332 at JFK and DTW

[Edited 2004-05-07 17:09:00]
Calgary is my home...
 
BA
Topic Author
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RE: After 14 Years, Beirut Airport Back On Track

Sat May 08, 2004 4:25 am

Well said Euroleb,

MEA310,

Check out the article.

L-188,

So, when are we going to start shipping salmon to your country

Oh c'mon, we don't need your salmon. Fishing is a major part of Lebanon's economy and there are many species of fish along the Lebanese coast. Big grin

I'm just kidding.  Smile Lebanon actually imports beef from the US. The Ministry of Health put a ban following the possibility of Mad Cow disease in the USA, but I believe the ban was lifted and now beef from the US is coming in again.

Maybe we already get salmon from the US too.  Big thumbs up

Regards
"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
 
StearmanNut
Posts: 344
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RE: After 14 Years, Beirut Airport Back On Track

Sat May 08, 2004 6:14 am

I wonder if there are still cotton fields all around BEY, or has all that been developed? First thing I smelled as I stepped out of the plane in 1988 was jet fuel and cotton just beginning to "boll out" ( ready for harvest).

I flew in from Cairo on an MEA 707/720. Negotiating for a ticket was cash only, no pre-paid tickets or reservations available. Everything was done at the check-in desk. A lot of haggling and a lot of people shouting and pushing to get to the ticket agent. No lines. No flight announcements in understandable English. It was an adventure.
If wishes were horses, a Tail Dragger I would fly...
 
BA
Topic Author
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RE: After 14 Years, Beirut Airport Back On Track

Sat May 08, 2004 10:43 am

StearmanNut,

It's all been developped. Here is a good shot:


Regards
"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
 
MEA321
Posts: 381
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RE: After 14 Years, Beirut Airport Back On Track

Sat May 08, 2004 1:55 pm

Direct travel between Lebanon and the U.S. is bound to happen within a year. However, even if it did happen I could not foresee a significant change in any flight operations immediately.

Maybe a couple of charter flights would be the only direct flights between the U.S. and Lebanon following the lifting of the ban.

Beirut certainly has a lot of potential, and has a lot to offer to airlines around the world. It is strategically located as a gateway to the east and west. In the future, BEY will be a top airport in the world and it has become evident through its pioneering efforts. The VIP terminal will the the first of its kind on the middle east. There is definitely more to come.
MEA321
 
BA
Topic Author
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RE: After 14 Years, Beirut Airport Back On Track

Sun May 09, 2004 2:51 am

Well said MEA321. I agree with you.

Regards
"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
 
cedarjet
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RE: After 14 Years, Beirut Airport Back On Track

Sun May 09, 2004 7:29 am

The US ban will not be lifted. Anyone who thinks it will be is dreaming. If they won't allow a Canadian airline to fly there, why do you think they'll suddenly allow their own own airlines to suddenly fly there, and vice versa?! While the Americans are getting their arses kicked in Iraq, they're not going to start flying to and from another Arab nation where they already got their arses kicked (see above: 241 Marines killed in a single morning).

And it wasn't the deaths of all those American servicemen in Beirut that caused the ban, since MEA's 747s kept flying to JFK for at least another year (til 85, 86). It was the kidnapping of Americans and the Israeli decision to call Lebanese resistance to their occupation of S Lebanon "terrorism". So Lebanon became a "terrorist state", which it remains, as long as Hezbollah exists to protect S Lebanon. One of the top people in the current regime in Washington (either Perle or Wolfowitz) said the Lebanese owe a "blood debt" (an exact quote). You're more likely to see an MEA A330 in orbit than at a US airport.

Meanwhile it's great to see the rest of the world wake up to the opportunities offered by this great country. In fact this afternoon some friends of mine invited me over to Beirut this summer, hopefully we'll go to the Baalbek festival, and of course plenty of shopping and hanging out in the Chouf. Can't wait.

[Edited 2004-05-09 00:31:43]
fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
 
Horus
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RE: After 14 Years, Beirut Airport Back On Track

Sun May 09, 2004 7:59 am

Wow Cedarjet, that's quite a 'speech'. Well done! and I agree with all you said.
EGYPT: A 7,000 Year Old Civilisation
 
Horus
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RE: After 14 Years, Beirut Airport Back On Track

Sun May 09, 2004 8:02 am

Wow Cedarjet, that's quite a 'speech'. Well done! and I agree with all you said.
EGYPT: A 7,000 Year Old Civilisation
 
Horus
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RE: After 14 Years, Beirut Airport Back On Track

Sun May 09, 2004 8:06 am

Wow Cedarjet, that's quite a 'speech'. Well done! and I agree with all you said.
EGYPT: A 7,000 Year Old Civilisation
 
cedarjet
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RE: After 14 Years, Beirut Airport Back On Track

Sun May 09, 2004 8:10 am

Thank you Horus - so good you had to say it twice! Well, when you've got psychos in high office claiming that the Lebanese owe a "blood debt" (whatever that means - doesn't sound good anyway) for defending their own country against invasion, it doesn't bode well for Delta to start flying there.
fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
 
BA
Topic Author
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RE: After 14 Years, Beirut Airport Back On Track

Sun May 09, 2004 8:48 am

Well said Cedarjet.

At least one can still travel to Lebanon from the US with great easy by connecting somewhere in Europe.

Regards
"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
 
yegbey01
Posts: 1349
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RE: After 14 Years, Beirut Airport Back On Track

Sun May 09, 2004 11:00 am

BA,

I don't agree with what you said with regrards to "GREAT CONNECTIONS" in Europe.

Only if you could catch an MEA flight (or Air France), then sure it is a good connection. Otherwise, you have to wait anywhere between 8 and 14 hours to catch a connecting flight.

Nonstop from Montreal or Toronto is so needed......


 
BA
Topic Author
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RE: After 14 Years, Beirut Airport Back On Track

Sun May 09, 2004 11:02 am

I don't agree with what you said with regrards to "GREAT CONNECTIONS" in Europe.

Each to their own opinion I guess.

I have never ever had a hard time connecting in Europe to get to Beirut. This is with all the major European airlines.

Regards
"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
 
MEA310
Posts: 633
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RE: After 14 Years, Beirut Airport Back On Track

Sun May 09, 2004 4:22 pm

MEA,Air France and BA(Bmed) offer the best connections through CDG&LHR.
When I flew Bmed,I had a one hour stopover in LHR,that's what I call great connection.On the way back it was a 3 hour stopover,similar to that of CDG.

MEA310
M5 Fastest Sedan On Earth
 
BA
Topic Author
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RE: After 14 Years, Beirut Airport Back On Track

Mon May 10, 2004 12:55 am

Very true MEA310.

That's true, the other airlines will have a very long layover.

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

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