ramzi wrote:dcajet wrote:Cedric13 wrote:Air Canada did try multiple times to launch this route but the Canadian gov keeps turning them down... Let’s hope for the best tho during the coming years!
On security grounds. As much as it is a wonderful and gorgeous city, rich in history and a crossroads of civilizations, the security issue is still something not completely resolved. I'm not sure BEY would be approved by the DHS as a gateway for US-bound flights either.
I do wonder what the rational here is. Several European cities have suffered terrorist attacks and other forms of violence in recent years while Beirut has not. The most recent security issue in Beirut was some spillover from the Syrian conflict at a border town, and that was 100% contained and rectified in a matter of days. The amount of security at BEY is really ridiculous, the only other airport I have been to where you go through security twice is IST.
It is a shame because direct flights to YUL or JFK would perform really well as there is a huge market. Most recently the chairperson of ME claimed that there was an enormous security cost required of ME to fly these routes, and so they opted not to when the government refused to help share the cost. I suppose this would partly include a third security check before boarding, but I can't imagine how much more you can do. I know for BEY-:LHR, IST-LHR and a couple of others there is a requirement to either search 70% of passengers before boarding or ban laptops and tablets, but that doesn't really seem costly.
Probably the same reason why no non stop flights to the US are allowed from Pakistan. When PIA used to operate to the US (does it still? Seem to recall it was cancelling JFK altogether) it had to stop in BCN on the way, so the flight could be properly screened. On the way back to Pakistan, it was a non stop flight.