dukebluedevil
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USA-Middle East Routes

Fri Feb 11, 2005 4:17 pm

Hey all

Security issues aside, is the demand there for US-based airlines to fly to the Middle East? Or perhaps more reasonably, for airlines of the Middle East to increase frequency?

Having been in the US for the past 8 years for Boarding School and University, every time I fly to the Middle East (~4 times/year) the flights are always full. Every Middle Eastern Airline I have ever been on bound to the Middle East from the USA has been full.

Also, in the recent past, I have been connecting through Europe on BA, AF, LH, and AZ. The Europe-Middle East Segments have also been full, and it seemed to me that many of the passengers were connecting from North America.

What does everyone think?

PS- I'm trying not to provoke political issues here, just a demand question  Smile
 
MAH4546
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RE: USA-Middle East Routes

Fri Feb 11, 2005 4:38 pm


Security issues aside, is the demand there for US-based airlines to fly to the Middle East? Or perhaps more reasonably, for airlines of the Middle East to increase frequency?


Continental flies to the Middle East with service to Tel Aviv.

In September 2001, Delta was also flying to Tel Aviv, as well as Dubai (via Cairo), while TWA/American was flying to Riyadh (via Cairo).

While there may be demand, one of the main reasons for lack of US carriers to the Middle East is security.
a.
 
Beaucaire
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RE: USA-Middle East Routes

Fri Feb 11, 2005 4:49 pm

"While there may be demand, one of the main reasons for lack of US carriers to the Middle East is security."
Why should there be any security concerns for flights to the Middle east ???
From Europe and Asia there are literally hundreds of flights to the ME without the slightest concerns - why do people in the US consider anything that has the slightest connection to the ME as risky business? Don't you think the media brainwash the public with false assumptions ? I lived and worked for years in the ME with my wife and she felt safer in Cairo ,Muscat ,Istanbul or Rabat than she would in the streets of Chikago or some districts of Paris.Yes there are issues of conflict in Israel with Palestinians and obviously religious terror in Iraq - but airtraffic has not been affected by these conflicts and people should learn to dis-associate them.
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MAH4546
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RE: USA-Middle East Routes

Fri Feb 11, 2005 4:53 pm

why do people in the US consider anything that has the slightest connection to the ME as risky business?

I have been to the Middle East various times and feel perfectly safe. Just because the airlines may have security concerns flying to the Middle East, doesn't mean everybody in the US does.

The obvious security concern is that the US is not liked much in some Middle Eastern areas, and a US airliner in a Middle Eastern airport, some feel, could be a terrorist target, unlike a French airline.
a.
 
brightcedars
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RE: USA-Middle East Routes

Fri Feb 11, 2005 8:34 pm

Please MAH4546, you know that one doesn't mean TLV when they talk about the Middle East region. I don't think we can say that CO's service (or any of LY's for that matter) to the Israeli capital is catering for Israelis on O/D traffic and Arabs on connecting traffic thru TLV, is it. So, ethnic travel to/from TLV aside please.

I am often on those flights from/to Europe to/from the Middle East and indeed there is a lot of connecting traffic to/from across the pond. AF, BA, KL, LH (to a lesser extent) all have a good share of such traffic.

And there is little direct offer from the Middle East to the US or vice-versa. I can only think of EK, MS, RJ and SV having flights to the region. EK and SV not being really helpful if you want to connect to the Near East. I know there is talk of ME wanting to fly to North America or of AC wanting to fly to the Middle East but. I can't think of any US carrier flying to the Middle East, are there still flights into CAI?

I'm sure that the Americans are obsessed with security and that would be a nice excuse not to fly to the Middle East but then what about carriers from some terrorism laden Asian countries flying to the US or US carriers flying to those countries? Isn't there a risk? And wouldn't the IRA or ETA once fancy blowing up an airliner en route to/from the US? God knows why, as with any terrorist (f)action.

Maybe Iraqi Airways will soon change all that?  Smile/happy/getting dizzy
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KLMyank
Posts: 168
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RE: USA-Middle East Routes

Fri Feb 11, 2005 8:42 pm

GF used to fly BAH-JFK nonstop with the A340 back in the 90s
Some days of the week it stopped in LCA, and was codeshared with CY for the LCA-JFK leg.
 
FlyingDove
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RE: USA-Middle East Routes

Fri Feb 11, 2005 9:57 pm

BrightCedars,

Just to clarify, no airline has been flying into/out of the Israeli capital's airport (JRS) since the end of 2000.

Cheers
 
miaskies
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RE: USA-Middle East Routes

Fri Feb 11, 2005 10:07 pm

Royal Jordanian use to fly to MIA in the 80's and 90's w/ L1011's.
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KWI
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RE: USA-Middle East Routes

Fri Feb 11, 2005 10:25 pm

I don't think we should forget KU's 5 weekly flights into JFK, all flown with B777s, and two of those weekly flights are done non-stop from Kuwait. KU also operates 2x weekly into ORD via GVA.

Back in the late 1980's, TWA used to operate into Kuwait via LHR, but those days are long gone...however if I remember correctly, AA inherited the route authority to fly into Kuwait, (and many other international destinations TWA once flew to)

KWI
 
kkfla737
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RE: USA-Middle East Routes

Fri Feb 11, 2005 10:32 pm

Royal Jordanian use to fly to MIA in the 80's and 90's w/ L1011's.

Yup, via Vienna. South Florida actually has one of the highest populations of Palestinians outside of the Middle East. Royal Jordanian used to fly to Detroit and Chicago- I'm not sure if they still service those routes or not.
 
nycflyer
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RE: USA-Middle East Routes

Fri Feb 11, 2005 11:43 pm

I fly to the Middle East a lot, though I'm yet to go non-stop from the U.S. Yes, all the flights from Europe to the ME are generally packed.

Anyone know how RJ is doing on their JFK, ORD, and DTW routes? Really want to fly their A340.
 
PHX Flyer
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RE: USA-Middle East Routes

Sat Feb 12, 2005 12:00 am

Emirates also flies into JFK. There is certainly a demand, but one would have to look closely at who actually travels on these routes. More likely than not, one would find more Middle Easterners than Americans, and the former probably prefer their local airlines just like I would prefer US carriers given the choice. Security is certainly a concern for US airlines, and increased exposure could very well lead to increased targeting too. They would have to set up local offices, for example. One would also have to look at what impact flights to the Middle East might have on insurance premiums.
US airlines work on exploring new markets all the time, and sometimes even something as unexpected as flights to Nigeria (Continental) comes to fruition.
If US airlines sense that there is money to be made on routes to the Middle East, they will fly them.
 
MAH4546
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RE: USA-Middle East Routes

Sat Feb 12, 2005 1:37 am

Royal Jordanian used to fly to Detroit and Chicago- I'm not sure if they still service those routes or not.

Royal Jordanian still flies to DTW and ORD from Amman.

And, despite not having serviced Miami for nearly 15 years, they maintain offices in downtown Miami.
a.
 
petazulu
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RE: USA-Middle East Routes

Sat Feb 12, 2005 1:49 am

If you were an insurance company, would you insure an aircraft flying to Saudi Arabia with a huge logo that said "American"? I don't think so. If you did- you would either be a little nuts, or charge a fee so high, the airline could not possibly make money.

That being said- there is clearly some kind of market out there. I hope one day soon we will see this happen.
 
DeltaMIA
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RE: USA-Middle East Routes

Sat Feb 12, 2005 2:38 am

and a US airliner in a Middle Eastern airport, some feel, could be a terrorist target, unlike a French airline.

I would have said just like a French airliner at an Algerian airport.

Its not because American feel unsafe. I enjoy my visits to the Middle East and it doesn't get a more American GI look than me. However with the relationship between the governments and culture an American flag carrier is far more likely to become a terrorist target over a EU flag carrier. It is the likelihood of becoming that target along with cost of providing security for those flights that keep American carriers out of the Middle East. Although I hear that DL is looking at going back to CAI.
It's a big building with patients, but that's not important right now.
 
Korg747
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RE: USA-Middle East Routes

Sat Feb 12, 2005 4:03 am

DeltaMIA,
can you tell us more about the rumor that delta is going to Cairo? where did you hear that?...thanks.
Please excuse my English!
 
DeltaMIA
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RE: USA-Middle East Routes

Sat Feb 12, 2005 4:10 am

can you tell us more about the rumor that delta is going to Cairo?

DL made money on the route. The airport is spending the money to minimize any possible security threats by building a brand new terminal. DL had a good relationship with EgyptAir who ground handled the flights. There is a great demand for the flight as apparent with EgyptAir's loads and finally it is toward the top of DL's expansion list.
Nothing is written stone, but CAI could see service from DL again.
It's a big building with patients, but that's not important right now.
 
kkfla737
Posts: 1017
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RE: USA-Middle East Routes

Sat Feb 12, 2005 4:14 am

JFK-CAI was always one of TWA's most profitable Atlantic routes. I'd love to see Delta back on the route.
 
1MillionFlyer
Posts: 1937
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RE: USA-Middle East Routes

Sat Feb 12, 2005 4:21 am

Saudi Airlines serves Jeddah from JFK via IAD with a 747-400.

TLV is a the middle east techincally, and it isn't just Ethnic travel. there are a lot of technology companies in TLV.



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yulguy
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RE: USA-Middle East Routes

Sat Feb 12, 2005 4:49 am

I think there is a demand for direct flights, but the US government does not want to allow them. Last year, for example, AC was all ready to start Montreal-Beirut flights, but the Canadian government nixed it in the end, supposedly after some diplomatic pressure from our neighbours to the south. Tel Aviv is the only city in the region served by North American carriers (AC from YYZ and CO from EWR).
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IAD777
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RE: USA-Middle East Routes

Sat Feb 12, 2005 4:58 am

1MillionFlyer.

Agree 100% Tel Aviv is in the Middle-East, and travel to/from TLV and US occurs for all of the same reasons that travel anywhere occurs. Not sure what "ethnic travel" means.

I forgot about Saudi's 744 service to IAD and JFK. I think the route is actually Jeddah-Riyadh-New York-Washington 3 days a week
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eta unknown
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RE: USA-Middle East Routes

Sat Feb 12, 2005 4:59 am

The full flights you travel on every year are probably full because of school holiday periods. That aside, while RJ does manage to fill their aircraft with Middle East destined pax, KU & EK tend to be full with India pax.
 
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usdcaguy
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RE: USA-Middle East Routes

Sat Feb 12, 2005 10:53 am

According to IATA, the Middle East and Asia are the fastest growing markets, while the possibility for profitable growth in Europe and the US is anemic. If the American carriers are too scared or conservative to take risks, they really cannot call themselves global carriers, who must serve all passengers from all walks of live, no matter the origin or destination.

On top of all that, why would the Cairo airport be less secure, than say, JFK? I'm sure their agents are just as attentive as ours, if not more so. Let's give countries in the Middle East the benefit of the doubt. If their security measures are deemed sufficient, let's have a go at it. Some US carriers would doubtlessly make more money flying to DXB, CAI and BEY than LIT, ATL and MHT where a zillion carriers compete for a handful of passengers.
 
N1120A
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RE: USA-Middle East Routes

Sat Feb 12, 2005 11:01 am

> is the demand there for US-based airlines to fly to the Middle East? Or perhaps more reasonably, for airlines of the Middle East to increase frequency?<

There is a lot of demand for carriers bothways and to more cities. Currently, JFK gets the bulk of the service but a great deal of the ethnic traffic is in LAX, IAH and DTW. The largest middle eastern ethnic group (save Jewish Diaspora) in the US are Iranians, and they have no chance currently at anything but connecting. Hopefully there will be a time where non-stops LAX-THR and IAH-THR fly daily.
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CORULEZ05
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RE: USA-Middle East Routes

Sat Feb 12, 2005 11:06 am

not much service from US on american carriers to middle east....one of two reasons why I dont travel to middle east....the other being terrorism.
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mdl21483
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RE: USA-Middle East Routes

Sat Feb 12, 2005 12:27 pm

Any Ideas on how Baghdad International will factor in over the next few years? I know the place is practically a U.S. Mil base & will remain so indefinitely, but if the senses among the U.S. traveling public is to avoid the Mideast from the terrorism issue, then I'd think that would be by far the safest hub short of Kuwait or TLV for us travelers. I know Virgin has been looking to start a bunch of direct flights via London and Manchester ever since the war "ended" so, I'd guess giving it another few years for things to settle more and Baghdad may become the new "little America", with Kuwait City lol

As far as destinations in the US that are to get nonstops to/from the Mideast- keep watching IAH DFW IAD JFK and ORD for new and expanded service in the next few years. I know that the administration for IAH are working diligently to land a few Mideast carriers, namely Emirates and Kuwait Airways, to fill the expanded international processing center they just opened last month. Emirates already codeshares to IAH through Continental, connecting in Europe & EWR. GulfAir, Saudia, and Royal Jordanian used to all serve IAH before, now the closest thing to mideast carriers here is PIA's direct service via ORD and the every once in a while Saudia Cargo flights.

Any word on when Iraqi Airways will restart operations???

No way I'll ever go there unless I'm under D.O.D. or USAF contract though, either way.

~Mel~
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