BA
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MEA, Syrian Team Up For Beirut - Damascus Shuttle

Sat Aug 14, 2004 5:27 am

MEA and Syrianair have teamed up to start a low-cost shuttle between Beirut and Damascus. They will have an initial capital of $1.8 million and are looking at a number of 50-seat turboprop models including the Antonov AN-140.

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They will start up operations next March.

Here is the article:
http://www.aaco.org/pubnews.asp?id=552&lang=1

Does anyone know if this is the same thing as the "Air Taxi" being planned?

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, Syrian Team Up For Beirut - Damascus Shuttle

Sat Aug 14, 2004 6:35 am

interesting.

well it sure beats the servees.

any idea how much this thing is going to cost?

it better have a lot of cargo space or room in the cabin.
PARIS, FRANCE...THE BEIRUT OF EUROPE.
 
BA
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RE: MEA, Syrian Team Up For Beirut - Damascus Shuttle

Sat Aug 14, 2004 9:45 am

AirxLiban,

I have no idea how much it's going to cost, but I am sure they are going to be low or else they won't be able to attract many passengers.

Regards
"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
 
FlySSC
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RE: MEA, Syrian Team Up For Beirut - Damascus Shuttle

Sat Aug 14, 2004 5:02 pm

BA,

THIS is the "Air Taxi" project....

Though the AN-140 is considered, the ATR is more likely to be chosen, as a mix of -42 & -72 versions could be ordered (These a/c are largely & quickly available on the second market, which is not the case for the AN-140).

a CRJ or EMB fleet is also considered.

The initial BEY-DAM route could be followed by other short regional routes, under served (or not served at all) at the moment because both airlines (MEA & SYRIANAIR) don't operate any regional a/c type required for theses routes (BEY-ALP, BEY-AMM, BEY-LCA, DAM-AMM )
 
airxliban
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RE: MEA, Syrian Team Up For Beirut - Damascus Shuttle

Sat Aug 14, 2004 5:14 pm

doesnt al khtout al jowiah al arabiah al souria fly this route somewhat frequently with 727s and A320s?

Would rather fly Syrianair than a stale old An-140 although would certainly think twice about it before going on either.
PARIS, FRANCE...THE BEIRUT OF EUROPE.
 
OD720
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RE: MEA, Syrian Team Up For Beirut - Damascus Shuttle

Sat Aug 14, 2004 5:26 pm

Air Liban,

The An-140 is a very new design and is being produced in small numbers and is attracting a lot of interest. It may even be better than the ATR, but of course I can't tell that myself since I'm not an expert.

I won't be surprised if they opted for the An-140 since Airbus has shown interest in the plane and as far as I know, they are somehow involved in the project. MEA Middle East Airlines (Lebanon)">ME and RB are strong Airbus buyers so it might make sense but I think they will go for the ATR.

By the way, watch out for the new An-148 regional jet. It looks a lot like the Avro RJs but with two engines instead of 4.

Regards.
 
FlySSC
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RE: MEA, Syrian Team Up For Beirut - Damascus Shuttle

Sat Aug 14, 2004 5:47 pm

AirxLiban, the AN-140 is not an old plane but a brand new aircraft type !
It is the "equivalent" of the ATR-42, the main difference between the two a/c being the tail design :

AN-140 :

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Photo © Manolo Aldana


ATR-42 :

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Photo © Leonidas Christou
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Photo © Miguel Cláudio



a route like BEY-LCA is operated by MEA with A321 or sometimes A332 but with a frequency of 1 x Daily...

If MEA wants to make of BEY a powerful hub, they must attract the PAX from the region by offering a lot of frequencies (especially on the short routes) and a minimum transit time at BEY. The "ATR type" regional a/c are just perfect for this "commuter" mission.

Moreover, BEY-LCA is very popular among Lebanese and flights always full. The distance is only 200km (129mi).

BEY-DAM is 105km (65mi), BEY-AMM is 237km (147mi), DAM-AMM is 194km (120mi)

Actually, BEY-AMM (already flown by MEA's A321) is a bit longer as a/c are not allowed to fly straight over the occupied Palestine.
 
airxliban
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RE: MEA, Syrian Team Up For Beirut - Damascus Shuttle

Sun Aug 15, 2004 1:51 am

sorry didn't mean to insult the An-140.

Anyway MEA larnaca flights arrive late at night so I don't know how good that is for connections.

If i were to go to damascus i would want to leave early in the morning and come back in the early evening.

anyway no one answered my question doesn't syrian fly beirut-damascus with 727s and A320s?
PARIS, FRANCE...THE BEIRUT OF EUROPE.
 
BA
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RE: MEA, Syrian Team Up For Beirut - Damascus Shuttle

Sun Aug 15, 2004 1:59 am

anyway no one answered my question doesn't syrian fly beirut-damascus with 727s and A320s?

They only have a 1x weekly Damascus - Aleppo - Beirut - Brussels - Beirut - Aleppo - Damascus A320 and a 1x weeky Damascus - Beirut - Tunis - Casablanca - Tunis - Beirut - Damascus 727. That's not exactly frequent. The point of the Beirut stopover is simply to pick up more passengers, not really to cater the DAM-BEY market or the ALP-BEY market.

Regarding the Air Taxi, it's also been mentioned that they want to fly to Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, and Turkey.

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, Syrian Team Up For Beirut - Damascus Shuttle

Sun Aug 15, 2004 2:08 am

does anyone know if there any pix of MEA 330s in CPH yet? MEA321 for example?

i actually had a dream that i was flying in a RB 727 last night. I was going beirut damascus in it. My window was just a hole instead of an actual window, so we couldn't pressurize and had to fly at a low altitude.

this air taxi could be a pretty good idea hopefully they will time the services properly and all.

will the planes be syrian or lebanese, leased or owned?
PARIS, FRANCE...THE BEIRUT OF EUROPE.
 
BA
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RE: MEA, Syrian Team Up For Beirut - Damascus Shuttle

Sun Aug 15, 2004 2:15 am

does anyone know if there any pix of MEA 330s in CPH yet? MEA321 for example?

I don't think so. The flight arrives late at night.

i actually had a dream that i was flying in a RB 727 last night. I was going beirut damascus in it. My window was just a hole instead of an actual window, so we couldn't pressurize and had to fly at a low altitude.

LOL, nice dream.  Smile

will the planes be syrian or lebanese, leased or owned?

I think it will be a mix. There will be an MEA operated part of the Air Taxi division and a Syrian operated part of the Air Taxi division.

Regards
"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
 
MEA310
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RE: MEA, Syrian Team Up For Beirut - Damascus Shuttle

Sun Aug 15, 2004 6:19 am

The only question I can think of at the moment is,what will this airline be called?! Will it be simply "Air Taxi" or something else?

MEA310
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BA
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RE: MEA, Syrian Team Up For Beirut - Damascus Shuttle

Sun Aug 15, 2004 6:23 am

MEA310,

Good question, I don't know. And no, "Air Taxi" is just the name of the project.

Regards
"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
 
BA
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RE: MEA, Syrian Team Up For Beirut - Damascus Shuttle

Sun Aug 15, 2004 8:21 am

FlySSC,

Are you suggesting that they might get a mix of turboprops and regional jets when you say they are looking and CRJs and EMBs?

Regards
"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
 
FlySSC
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RE: MEA, Syrian Team Up For Beirut - Damascus Shuttle

Sun Aug 15, 2004 9:02 am

They are considering a turboprob fleet (ATR-42 or/and -72) OR a regional jet fleet with CRJ or EMB.

The turboprob ATR type is perfect for short flight not exceeding 45mn. Above 1 hour, it's a pain in the ass...! If they consider to fly to Egypt, Iraq, and Turkey, then a Regional Jet fleet is more logical.

Airxliban, the LCA-BEY you mentionned shows exactely what M.E.A must correct if they want to establish BEY as a real HUB. 1xDaily evening flight with an A321 or A332 is ridiculous. 5 or 6 daily flights operating regularly along the day from 6:30 AM until 8:00PM from LCA to BEY would be more efficient !
 
Horus
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RE: MEA, Syrian Team Up For Beirut - Damascus Shuttle

Sun Aug 15, 2004 9:13 am

fLYSSC, the problem with regional jets, is that they offer an inferior service to jet aircraft (Airbus/Boeing) due to the size of the cabin. Therefore using them on trunk routes would be a disaster if there is stiff competition. Also if there is big demand on a route, commercially and finanacially it would not make sence to use 50seaters when a 150+seater could do the job. Finally, in the Middle East, frequency for travellers is not as important as say for the traveller in the US or Europe, though its something I think will change in the future.

I think the regional jets should be used to peripheral airports in the region to make most out of niche markets, for example if they fly to Egypt they can try HRG, SHH, LXR or Port Said but it wouldn't make sence using them to CAI.

Horus

EGYPT: A 7,000 Year Old Civilisation
 
BA
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RE: MEA, Syrian Team Up For Beirut - Damascus Shuttle

Mon Aug 16, 2004 2:15 am

Horus,

The plan for this airline is to serve smaller markets in Turkey such as Adana, Gazientep, and Ankara for example. These cannot sustain jetliners.

However, these routes are a little bit long for turboprops in terms of passenger comfort and 50-seat regional jets would be best for such routes.

However, on Beirut - Damascus, a regional jet really cannot be economical.

On shorter routes, the CASMs on regional jets are much higher than a turboprop. While on longer routes, CASMs on regional jets are just fine.

So it seems to me the best solution would be a mix of regional jets and turboprops, but this will result in higher maintenance, infrastructure, and training costs. We'll see what happens...

Regards
"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
 
MEA321
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RE: MEA, Syrian Team Up For Beirut - Damascus Shuttle

Tue Aug 17, 2004 10:23 am

Personally I dont like the idea of having a flight from BEY-DAM. How much time would someone save considering check-in, bags, etc?

It is great however to hear that there are plans for expansion in the levant region. The news of menaJet and this air taxi are very welcome.

Airxliban, sorry but I could not get a clear picture of any MEA aircraft at CPH. It was simply too dark when they arrived and departed.

MEA321

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