Horus
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MEA: Sharm El Sheikh Is Official

Mon Sep 27, 2004 9:42 pm

The Red Sea Resort of Sharm El Sheikh will become the next destination for the Lebanese flag carrier, MEA. Services on the route will begin on the 11th of November, initially with 2x weekly flights (Mondays and Thursday) with their A321s.


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Flight ME1302 departs BEY at 10:00, arriving into SSH at 12:30. The return flight ME1303 departs SSH at 13:30, arriving back in BEY at 14:00.

MEA becomes the sixth scheduled carrier into SSH joining Egyptair, PAS, Saudi Arabian Airlines, Royal Wings (Royal Jordanian subsidary) and Kuwait Airways. Tarom and Gulf Air are expected to start their own services to the airport soon. Most European charter operators also have flights to Egypt's fastest growing airport, which reported a 23% increase in passenger numbers in 2003 despite the 'difficult' situation in the region.

Great news for Sharm El Sheikh and MEA...hopefully it won't be long before they start flights to Alexandria.

Horus


EGYPT: A 7,000 Year Old Civilisation
 
mozart
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RE: MEA: Sharm El Sheikh Is Official

Mon Sep 27, 2004 9:57 pm

Why are they doing that? I know there are many Lebanese tourists going to SSH, but that does not generate great margins. So my gut feeling is that this is a pure defensive move vs. Menajet. Moreover, since Nakhal (tour operator) seems to be booking all its customers on the Menajet services, there won't be that much left for MEA Middle East Airlines (Lebanon)">ME.

Any thoughts?
 
EuroLeb
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RE: MEA: Sharm El Sheikh Is Official

Mon Sep 27, 2004 10:52 pm

It looks like the demand is grwoing fast for Sharm from Lebanon. MEA could also use its Beirut hub to connect passengers from some of its European and Guld destinations to SSH. 2 flights/week seems quite reasonable, considering stiff competition from charters serving this destination.

Horus, I hope MEA considers 70 seaters to expand to cities like Alexandria, Aqaba, Aleppo, Ankara, Hughada, Manama (Bahrain), Muscat and eventually to Basra. The ERJ 170 or CRJ 700 would be perfect for such destinations in terms of size, range, comfort, and fuel efficiency. At least until demand justifies the use of the A-321 on these routes...

By the way Horus, where did you hear about MEA's SSH official announcement?
Calgary is my home...
 
OD720
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RE: MEA: Sharm El Sheikh Is Official

Tue Sep 28, 2004 12:26 am

Mozart:
Nakhal is not the monopoly tour operator in Lebanon, there are many others who also charter flights to destinations such as SSH.

On the other hand, MenaJet do not want to become an exclusively charter airline. They plan to establish themselves as an LCC with BEY as their hub. I still don't know if they have government approval.

As a final note, with SSH becoming very popular with Lebanese tourists, I'm glad to see a Lebanese airline flying this route. I'm sure there is enough room for both MenaJet and MEA.

Best regards.
 
BA
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RE: MEA: Sharm El Sheikh Is Official

Tue Sep 28, 2004 2:34 am

MEA is not competing with anybody to be honest.

You can't really compare charter flights with regular scheduled flights.

Personally, I would prefer to fly to Sharm el Sheikh on MEA and make my own accomodation plans.

MenaJet and other charter carriers fly to Sharm el Sheikh as part of vacation packages offered by travel companies.

So either you buy a vacation package and end up flying a charter flight or you buy a ticket on MEA and make your own accomodations.

They are two different markets. MEA should do fine. The route is low-yielding, but I am sure MEA will offer reasonable fares on the route. Since September 14, MEA reduced fares on all its routes.

I emailed MEA asking a few questions which I will relay back to you when I get a reply.

Regards
"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
 
Horus
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RE: MEA: Sharm El Sheikh Is Official

Tue Sep 28, 2004 9:58 pm

By the way Horus, where did you hear about MEA's SSH official announcement?

I read in Al-Ahram newspaper a few days ago, and then checked Amadues and Lufthansa schedules were I found the service.


BA, waiting for the reply regarding the 1 in the flight code.

Horus

EGYPT: A 7,000 Year Old Civilisation
 
Horus
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RE: MEA: Sharm El Sheikh Is Official

Thu Sep 30, 2004 5:50 am

Horus, I hope MEA considers 70 seaters to expand to cities like Alexandria, Aqaba, Aleppo, Ankara, Hughada, Manama (Bahrain), Muscat and eventually to Basra. The ERJ 170 or CRJ 700 would be perfect for such destinations in terms of size, range, comfort, and fuel efficiency. At least until demand justifies the use of the A-321 on these routes...

Euroleb, I think regional jets would be successful if Arab carriers introduced them but only to a certain extent. Last year Egyptair decided to postpone their order for 5 50-seaters (instead they'll keep the 104 seater 735 for longer), and just a few weeks ago Gulf Air also decided to put off order for 70-seater jets. I think the only Arab national carriers to have regional jets/turboprops are Oman Air and Royal Jordanian's subsidery Royal Wings.

I think the main 'problem' related to operating regional jets is that the route has to be fairly high yielding to generate a decent operating profit. In the examples you used above about possible MEA regional jet routes, I think that Aqaba, Aleppo, Hurghada and even Ankara wouldn't be a good idea simply because yields won't be there, even if passenger numbers were high.

Horus



[Edited 2004-09-29 22:59:36]
EGYPT: A 7,000 Year Old Civilisation
 
AF022
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RE: MEA: Sharm El Sheikh Is Official

Fri Oct 01, 2004 2:37 am

i don't think the schedules found on amadeus connect with anything. flights depart BEY at 1000, no?
 
MEA321
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RE: MEA: Sharm El Sheikh Is Official

Fri Oct 01, 2004 3:44 am

I'm actually not sure how much someone would be able to save by flying to a resort like Sharm El Sheikh and making their own accommodations. Tour operators and charters have a really good combination of flight/hotel packages so that when you calculate the amount you paid for the plane ticket, it would be hard for any airline to compete.

Just look at Thomas Cook for example. I read a report that BA loses millions in lost passengers because of the advantages people are finding in charters, especially when the travel dates are flexible.

In my opinion, I think that MEA will definitely find a niche in this market, and maybe even expand on this in the future. However they do not hold an advantage over menaJet's unscheduled service.

MEA321
 
BA
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RE: MEA: Sharm El Sheikh Is Official

Fri Oct 01, 2004 5:24 am

MEA321,

I never said that flying to a resort seperately on a scheduled flight and making your own accomodation plans is cheaper than a tour package that includes a charter flight and accomodation.

Regards
"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
 
Horus
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RE: MEA: Sharm El Sheikh Is Official

Fri Oct 01, 2004 9:22 am

As BA said, charter and scheduled airline can compete on the same route as they each target a slightly different market/niche to one another. Just look at Europe where you'll find scheduled, low cost and charter carriers all operateing profitably on the same route. I'm not saying that MEA will find it easy at the start, but once they establish themselves I think the route will do well. I mean Egyptair, PAS and Royal Wings all face competition from charter airlines on their scheduled flights out of SSH. Besides the Lebanese people just love the Red Sea, so the market is definitely there and expanding fast.

I hope MEA every success.

Horus

EGYPT: A 7,000 Year Old Civilisation
 
FlySSC
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RE: MEA: Sharm El Sheikh Is Official

Fri Oct 01, 2004 5:07 pm

Sharm is becoming a more and more popular destination in Europe and it's a good news that a regular airline will fly there... But why this schedule ???

Leaving BEY at 10:00AM in the morning is ridiculous : it "cuts" all the possibilities of connections from PAX coming from Europe  Sad
 
BA
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RE: MEA: Sharm El Sheikh Is Official

Sat Oct 02, 2004 1:32 am

FLYSSC,

I think the times are excellent. I would want to arrive at Sharm el Sheikh right around lunch time.

They are not trying to attract connections, they are only catering the Lebanon - Red Sea market.

I can confirm that MEA is not interested in becoming a transit hub, Mohammad El-Hout confirmed this.

If one wants to transit on MEA, they can do what many do when they connect with Royal Jordanian in Amman, overnight......
"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
 
Horus
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RE: MEA: Sharm El Sheikh Is Official

Sat Oct 02, 2004 7:40 am

and it's a good news that a regular airline will fly there

Just one point concerning this comment...as I said in the first post MEA will become the sixth scheduled carrier to serve SSH, with Gulf Air and Tarom joining by year end. Besides those, most European and Egyptian charter airlines operate very regular year-round charter flights out of the Red Sea resort especially those on the Italy-SSH market.

As for MEA's new flights, I once again agree with BA when saying the service specifically targets Lebanese tourists holidaying in the Red Sea rather than offer connection for passengers coming from the Gulf/Europe, though I'm sure some will use the service.

BA, were you able to find out why they have the 1 at the start of the flight code?

Horus

EGYPT: A 7,000 Year Old Civilisation
 
BA
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RE: MEA: Sharm El Sheikh Is Official

Sat Oct 02, 2004 8:24 am

Horus,

BA, were you able to find out why they have the 1 at the start of the flight code?

When I find out, I will let you know, I promise... Be patient.  Smile
"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran