olba
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MEA Joins Skyteam

Thu Jun 28, 2012 10:58 am

http://www.skyteam.com/en/About-us/P...ddle-East-Airlines-Joins-SkyTeam-/


"SkyTeam, the global airline alliance, today welcomed Middle East Airlines – Air Liban (MEA) as its 17th member. The flag carrier of Lebanon, MEA becomes SkyTeam’s second Middle Eastern member, offering customers from the region access to an extensive global network. "

Does anyone know which aircraft will be painted in the skyteam livery?
 
raffik
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RE: MEA Joins Skyteam

Thu Jun 28, 2012 1:10 pm

That's great news for the airline and SkyTeam.
Unsure of the aircraft but I would hazard a guess and say that one of the A330s will don the special livery.
It has been rumoured that MEA are seeking an additional 332, would be great if it was delivered with the special decals
- Alec
 
MHTripple7
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RE: MEA Joins Skyteam

Thu Jun 28, 2012 1:12 pm

Good news! ME is one of those "under the radar" airlines that continually provides great service with a solid, profitable operation. Should be a great addition to SkyTeam.
 
mogandoCI
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RE: MEA Joins Skyteam

Thu Jun 28, 2012 1:44 pm

Nice addition to SkyTeam (even though Saudi is the giant right next door), but frankly, Beirut isn't exactly a top choice for transits if given reasonable alternatives.

Now SkyTeam just needs a partner in India and their Eurasia map is complete.
 
NASCARAirforce
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RE: MEA Joins Skyteam

Thu Jun 28, 2012 1:56 pm

Is MEA cleared to fly to the U.S.? I thought they were a banned airline here for a while.
 
kl911
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RE: MEA Joins Skyteam

Thu Jun 28, 2012 2:09 pm

Quoting mogandoCI (Reply 3):
but frankly, Beirut isn't exactly a top choice for transits if given reasonable alternatives.

Exactly my thoughts. What does MEA brings to Skyteam ? I don't get this choice. Are there that many destinations that are not covered yet?
 
yegbey01
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RE: MEA Joins Skyteam

Thu Jun 28, 2012 2:21 pm

MEA brings very little to Skyteam....

MEA has had a solid relationship with AF for a very ling time. Maybe we will see a consolidation of flights to FCO and potential future flights to AMS...but that's about it. Unless MEA buys regional aircraft (but that doesn't appear to be happening soon)

MEA's network in the Middle East covers cities already served by the alliance.

You might see further schedules coordination with DL, but I think this is already in place.

but I really can't see anything substantive as a result of this.
 
EddieDude
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RE: MEA Joins Skyteam

Thu Jun 28, 2012 3:30 pm

Congratulations to SkyTeam and ME. Look forward to seeing pictures of ME's SkyTeam livery plane(s).
Next flights: MEX-LAX AM 738, LAX-PVG DL 77L, SHA-PEK CA 789, PEK-PVG CA A332, PVG-ORD MU 77W, ORD-MEX AM 738
 
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OA260
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RE: MEA Joins Skyteam

Thu Jun 28, 2012 7:47 pm

Quoting MHTripple7 (Reply 2):

Totally agree flew their A330 service LHR- BEY in Y . Airline service as it used to be and lovely crew uniforms too. Congrats to MEA they have had a tough few decades and survived attack and evacuating their fleet. Kudos to them.
 
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BasilFawlty
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RE: MEA Joins Skyteam

Thu Jun 28, 2012 8:08 pm

Quoting yegbey01 (Reply 6):
MEA has had a solid relationship with AF for a very ling time. Maybe we will see a consolidation of flights to FCO and potential future flights to AMS...but that's about it. Unless MEA buys regional aircraft (but that doesn't appear to be happening soon)

AMS would make sense since it's a large Skyteam hub and currently has no direct flights to BEY. Perhaps they will swap BRU for AMS in the near future?

Also interesting are the messages that the 4 A321's will be phased out and the possibility of a 5th A330, anyone got more info?
'Every year donkeys and mules kill more people than plane crashes'
 
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IrishAyes
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RE: MEA Joins Skyteam

Thu Jun 28, 2012 9:45 pm

Quoting kl911 (Reply 5):
Exactly my thoughts. What does MEA brings to Skyteam ? I don't get this choice. Are there that many destinations that are not covered yet?

I wouldn't say there are a whole lot of things to be overlooked here.

For one, MEA has actually been profitable over the past few years - a pretty uncommon feat for govt. propped carriers in the Middle East/Southeast Asia region these days.

For two, MEA is undergoing a fleet modernization plan, with intentions to grow its network by 30% by 2020.

For three, SkyTeam does have the bragging rights that their capacity share in the Middle East now leapfrogs that of Star and OneWorld by a decent amount. As long as none of the big three (with QR being the most likely) choose not to join a major global alliance, that balance of power is likely to remain that way for some time.

Of course, I'd argue that at the end of the day, it was more of a situation where MEA needed ST rather than the other way around.

As far as the future goes, on one hand, arguably its presence in ST will be good for MEA's visibility in terms of generating more traffic to continue its profitability streak. Especially as it will be able to draw on more Lebanese ex-pat traffic from longer-distance communities. On the other hand, I'd probably venture to say that it's biggest risk/threat is the fact that it operates in one of the most tumultuous regions of all of the fellow ST members. We'll just have to wait and see.
confidence is silent. insecurities are loud.
 
EddieDude
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RE: MEA Joins Skyteam

Fri Jun 29, 2012 3:40 am

Quoting IrishAyes (Reply 10):
For one, MEA has actually been profitable over the past few years - a pretty uncommon feat for govt. propped carriers in the Middle East/Southeast Asia region these days.

Agree. The political situation in Lebanon and the outlook for a burgeoning aviation industry in the country are especially complicated, so this is indeed quite a remarkable feat.

Quoting IrishAyes (Reply 10):
Of course, I'd argue that at the end of the day, it was more of a situation where MEA needed ST rather than the other way around.

I agree. However, it is great to see SkyTeam add a quality airline to its lineup. Many people dismiss SkyTeam as a collection of second-tier carriers, but it seems they are doing great in terms of growth and geographic reach.
Next flights: MEX-LAX AM 738, LAX-PVG DL 77L, SHA-PEK CA 789, PEK-PVG CA A332, PVG-ORD MU 77W, ORD-MEX AM 738
 
Capt.Fantastic
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RE: MEA Joins Skyteam

Fri Jun 29, 2012 7:16 am

I see this as a win-win for both MEA and SkyTeam. I have flown MEA between BEY and CDG, FRA, JED, MED. Their service is excellent; far better than Saudi IMO. The flight crews are very friendly and fluent in English, French and Arabic. Its a great addition to the SkyTeam family.

A number of destinations in the Gulf are served from Beirut; I see BEY as a convenient connecting point: Passenger facilities are pleasant and comfortable for long layovers. I've been to the airport many times and, aside from long lines, I've never had a bad experience.

Congrats and Best of luck to MEA
 
brightcedars
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RE: MEA Joins Skyteam

Fri Jun 29, 2012 8:44 am

Quoting BasilFawlty (Reply 9):
AMS would make sense since it's a large Skyteam hub and currently has no direct flights to BEY. Perhaps they will swap BRU for AMS in the near future?

Sure hope not, the planes are usually well filled and prices have risen out of BRU so I doubt this would happen. Why not be more ambitious and think of an additional flight to AMS. It's best if ME operates it from BEY in the morning as it would connect well with KL's vast TATL network in both directions.

As for Skyteam membership, I think it's more a win for ME than for the alliance for now. I don't rely care, ME's BEY-BRU covers most of my travel needs and the rest with SN would never provide me any useful perks so I'm not picky on the alliance.
I want the European Union flag on airliners.net!
 
raffik
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RE: MEA Joins Skyteam

Fri Jun 29, 2012 8:58 am

It is wonderful news for MEA. I disagree with the various negativity on this thread.
MEA has been a profitable airline since 2003. In 2005 it was the 17th most profitable airline in the world and operated the youngest fleet. It has a clear commitment to providing a quality service and Beirut is a fantastic airport which I enjoy using.
For an airline that posted a $90m loss in the 1990s, operating with several 707s and various A310s out of what was considered a very un touristic destination, the airline has done wonders in re establishing itself as an enterprise which puts customers first, in terms of the levels of comfort it offers its passengers and a growing route network.

Yes, the airline doesn't bring a HUGE amount of transfer opportunities to Sky Team, but this is at present.
Airport traffic was up 18% over last year at BEY, the airport is about to double the terminal size to meet demand and the number of tourists to Lebanon has (until recently with the problems in Syria) been booming.

The airline does need to grow its regional network significantly, and had Lebanon not had a most devastating war lasting from the early 70s to current day, MEA would have been the leading airline in the region. It was the first airline in the arab world to operate jet aircraft and Beirut was a massive transit hub for most passengers in the Middle East. There was no airline in Dubai at the time- MEA's fleet would regularly serve runways which had no terminals, no infrastructure throughout the region and funnel them on through Beirut. Ofcourse, this isn't going to happen now that we have the likes of Emirates, Qatar, Royal Jordanian who have all established transit hubs and quite importantly do not have the bad image that Beirut and Lebanon have.

They need to grow regionally and then think about expanding back into Sri Lanka, Madrid, Moscow perhaps some expansion into Africa, where they are quite a well respected airline.
- Alec
 
yegbey01
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RE: MEA Joins Skyteam

Fri Jun 29, 2012 4:49 pm

Quoting raffik (Reply 14):

I don't think we meant to be negative....I think it is a tremendous achievement.

But it would be great to get our hands on the MEA strategic plan document that clarifies how MEA would benefit from joining the alliance and how MEA would benefit Skyteam as well.

With the limited fleet, MEA will continue to serve points in Europe and the Gulf where large populations of Lebanese decent currently reside and will continue to interline with various airlines in the US and Air Canada (codeshare here), so how will joining the alliance change how MEA will operate in the future

This is not about whether MEA is profitable or not.
 
777way
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RE: MEA Joins Skyteam

Fri Jun 29, 2012 4:59 pm

Why is MEA called Air Liban?
 
yegbey01
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RE: MEA Joins Skyteam

Fri Jun 29, 2012 5:17 pm

Quoting 777way (Reply 16):
Why is MEA called Air Liban?

MEA merged with Air Liban some 50 years ago, but they kept the name MEA- Air Liban
 
777way
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RE: MEA Joins Skyteam

Fri Jun 29, 2012 6:05 pm

Shouldnt they change that now?
 
raffik
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Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2006 9:50 am

RE: MEA Joins Skyteam

Fri Jun 29, 2012 8:35 pm

Quoting 777way (Reply 18):
Shouldnt they change that now?

It also signifies the origin of the airline as being from Lebanon.

Quoting yegbey01 (Reply 15):
With the limited fleet, MEA will continue to serve points in Europe and the Gulf where large populations of Lebanese decent currently reside and will continue to interline with various airlines in the US and Air Canada (codeshare here), so how will joining the alliance change how MEA will operate in the future

It will also help with marketing MEA interlining services from the US through Delta airlines, within Europe through Air France and tap into the Asian market through China Airlines and of course Africa with Kenya Airways.
It's a huge tool to help sell MEA tickets easily. We also have no idea on what MEA's plans are. Yes, they may be small now but in terms of profit, Lebanon is a very high yielding destination. I can fly to New York for £300- yet find me a direct flight to Beirut and you're looking at £500+ for a considerably shorter flight.
And I believe the profitably of an airline is a key indicator on how much forecast growth they can make, aircraft acquisition, access to credit unions to finance new aircraft etc.
- Alec
 
ramzi
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RE: MEA Joins Skyteam

Sun Jul 01, 2012 10:02 am

Quoting 777way (Reply 18):
Shouldnt they change that now?

They need the name for rights that are owned by Air Liban.
There will come a time when you believe everything is finished - that will be the beginning.
 
BA
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RE: MEA Joins Skyteam

Fri Jul 06, 2012 1:32 am

Quoting 777way (Reply 18):
Shouldnt they change that now?

The official name is Middle East Airlines - Air Liban. There aren't any plans to change it.

"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
 
yegbey01
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RE: MEA Joins Skyteam

Thu Jul 12, 2012 3:42 pm

So MEA is picking up 10 aircraft (5 A320 NEO and 5 A321 NEO) and 8 options. Very interesting indeed.

I was still hoping for them picking up some ERJ's.
 
TeamintheSky
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RE: MEA Joins Skyteam

Thu Jul 12, 2012 3:52 pm

It's always great to see another carrier with such a good reputation join SkyTeam. I look forward to taking them to Beirut once the situation in Syria hopefully resolves.

Do we see this as a straight replacement order, or are they looking to grow?
Since 2010: DL, KL, AF, WX, IG, FR , FL, U2, AK, BA, OK, UX, VS, VN, K6, AT, US, AY, BE, EI, LG, AZ, 9W, SG, AA, JL, W6