It is wonderful news for MEA
. I disagree with the various negativity on this thread.
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.