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Cedric13
Topic Author
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Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2018 6:04 pm

Lauda to start flights to Beirut

Sat Oct 19, 2019 10:55 pm

Ryanair's first route to Beirut from Paphos is supposed to start in about a week and the airline just announced a new flight to Lebanon from Vienna, 2 weekly, starting on the 29th of March 2020, operated by their subsidiary Lauda.

https://www.austrianaviation.net/detail ... eirut-auf/
 
cedarjet
Posts: 8823
Joined: Mon May 24, 1999 1:12 am

Re: Lauda to start flights to Beirut

Sun Oct 20, 2019 9:23 am

Nice. Lebanese skies are completely deregulated so any airline can fly to or from anywhere else. Surprised more airlines don’t take advantage of this, lots of cash in Lebanon. I guess the security situation is a bit febrile but it has been pretty stable for years now. And Beirut is a fantastic city.
fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
 
ME720
Posts: 183
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Re: Lauda to start flights to Beirut

Sun Oct 20, 2019 1:08 pm

Lebanon has not signed open air treaty with the EU.
The government is trying to protect local carrier MEA. Monopoly of scheduled flights out of BEY.
Traffic is heavily regulated and bilateral agreements with many countries. Certainly no open air agreements. If they deregulate we will see Easyjet Ryanair maybe wizz flying from all over Europe..
And maybe other airliners as well.. this will bring prices down, certainly...
 
Thibault973
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Re: Lauda to start flights to Beirut

Sun Oct 20, 2019 2:08 pm

ME720 wrote:
Lebanon has not signed open air treaty with the EU.
The government is trying to protect local carrier MEA. Monopoly of scheduled flights out of BEY.
Traffic is heavily regulated and bilateral agreements with many countries. Certainly no open air agreements. If they deregulate we will see Easyjet Ryanair maybe wizz flying from all over Europe..
And maybe other airliners as well.. this will bring prices down, certainly...


At least from Paris prices aren’t exactly sky high already, I am flying there in 3 weeks with TO for 188€ return. Not bad for à 5h flight in a heavily regulated market, especially considering one of the player (ZI) just went out of business .
 
SCQ83
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Joined: Wed Oct 03, 2012 8:32 pm

Re: Lauda to start flights to Beirut

Sun Oct 20, 2019 8:53 pm

Thibault973 wrote:
At least from Paris prices aren’t exactly sky high already, I am flying there in 3 weeks with TO for 188€ return. Not bad for à 5h flight in a heavily regulated market, especially considering one of the player (ZI) just went out of business .


I don't see why low-cost European carriers would launch many routes to Lebanon.

Lebanon is not Israel (a wealthy country which is also a tourism magnet) or Jordan (Petra, Wadi Rum, etc.). Maybe for some French people (because of history), Lebanon might have some interest, but otherwise the country is incredibly overpriced and very unstable (this week there were some riots), it is overall poor, the Lebanese passport is one of the worst in the world (they need visa to absolutely everywhere in Europe) and it doesn't have anything unique like Petra or Jerusalem.

Realistically I can only see some other heavy VFR-oriented route like Berlin, France, Brussels, etc.
 
HP69
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Re: Lauda to start flights to Beirut

Sun Oct 20, 2019 9:26 pm

Good for them!
 
Thibault973
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Re: Lauda to start flights to Beirut

Sun Oct 20, 2019 9:51 pm

SCQ83 wrote:

I don't see why low-cost European carriers would launch many routes to Lebanon.

Lebanon is not Israel (a wealthy country which is also a tourism magnet) or Jordan (Petra, Wadi Rum, etc.). Maybe for some French people (because of history), Lebanon might have some interest, but otherwise the country is incredibly overpriced and very unstable (this week there were some riots), it is overall poor, the Lebanese passport is one of the worst in the world (they need visa to absolutely everywhere in Europe) and it doesn't have anything unique like Petra or Jerusalem.

Realistically I can only see some other heavy VFR-oriented route like Berlin, France, Brussels, etc.


Having been to both Israel (which has nothing on Lebanon in terms of being overpriced and unstable) and Lebanon, I prefer hands down Lebanon but that's a matter of own taste and experience. While one might consider it overpriced Beirut is still a steal when compared to Western Europe. Apart from Beirut, which is a vibrant city, day or night (with a young crowd coming in from the whole Middle East to escape and have fun there) that I would absolutely not consider poor, the country has many things to offer to visitors, be it Baalbek/Héliopolis, the biggest remaining temple of the Roman Empire or Byblos which claims to be the oldest city still standing, having been founded 5 000 BC. Jounieh has everything you would expect from a seaside resort with tons of nightclubs.
 
directorguy
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Re: Lauda to start flights to Beirut

Mon Oct 21, 2019 5:23 am

It's ironic that most people here don't exactly see Lebanon as a tourist draw. The majority of visitors to Lebanon are usually from nearby countries like Saudi, Kuwait, Egypt etc and they love it. The inverse is true for Jordan. It's a shame Lebanon is poorly perceived as a tourist destination in European countries.
 
SCQ83
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Re: Lauda to start flights to Beirut

Mon Oct 21, 2019 8:15 am

Thibault973 wrote:
Having been to both Israel (which has nothing on Lebanon in terms of being overpriced and unstable) and Lebanon, I prefer hands down Lebanon but that's a matter of own taste and experience. While one might consider it overpriced Beirut is still a steal when compared to Western Europe. Apart from Beirut, which is a vibrant city, day or night (with a young crowd coming in from the whole Middle East to escape and have fun there) that I would absolutely not consider poor, the country has many things to offer to visitors, be it Baalbek/Héliopolis, the biggest remaining temple of the Roman Empire or Byblos which claims to be the oldest city still standing, having been founded 5 000 BC. Jounieh has everything you would expect from a seaside resort with tons of nightclubs.


We know everybody is unique in Airliners and prefer things different to the majority of people.

However Israel has many attractions for foreign tourists (Christian, Muslim and Jewish religious tourism, Jewish VFR, gay tourism, etc.) which Lebanon can only dream of. The country is easy for Western tourists, like Jordan. Lebanon is not.

And Israel despite all its issues (inequality, high cost of living, etc.) has a large middle class which can afford travelling to Europe. In Lebanon only a minority can travel abroad no matter the wishful thinking ("there is a lot of money in Lebanon") from Lebanese posters above.

As for the prices I agree both countries are a rip-off. However Israel at least is more or less a developed country; Lebanon no matter some fancy towers in the center of Beirut is not (e.g. you can travel around cheap and safe in a "Western" style in Israel in public transportation; can you do that in LB?).

I don't see Lebanon becoming a popular tourism destination no matter cheap flights.
 
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seahawk
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Re: Lauda to start flights to Beirut

Mon Oct 21, 2019 8:22 am

Lebanon works, just due to ethnic traffic.
 
flybaby
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Re: Lauda to start flights to Beirut

Mon Oct 21, 2019 10:57 am

If Lebanon had an open-skies agreement with the EU it could attract a lot more carriers and lower ticket prices significantly. It’s a beautiful country with a rich and fascinating history, is more western-oriented than most Arab countries, and has a large diaspora overseas which can drive traffic.

Israel is actually good example of what could happen. Traffic increased a lot after having signed an open skies agreement with the EU. Now Ryanair and Lauda serve more than 20 destinations out of TLV and prices are very low to many locations all over Europe - and with a wide array of carriers to choose from.

In an ideal world Israel and Lebanon would have peaceful relations and even if flights were still expensive from BEY, a Lebanese could take a short drive from Naqoura to Nahariya and get on a direct train to TLV airport and fly to wherever they wanted very cheap.

Unfortunately, that's not likely to happen since although Israel and Lebanon probably have more in common than any other two middle eastern countries (being multi-ethnic, western-oriented and with a strong laissez-faire tradition), there always seem to be much larger outside forces who take pleasure in telling tiny Lebanon what to do based on what best suits them, not necessarily what's in the best interest of the people of Lebanon.
 
Galwayman
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Re: Lauda to start flights to Beirut

Mon Oct 21, 2019 11:41 am

Beirut is an excellent weekend break for most Europeans , history , culture , food , people ... there’s definitely potential . Also it’s quiet easy to get to Damascus and travellers are starting to go back there

Airfares are currently ridiculous just to protect MEA ... yes there might be the odd cheap fare on transavia or via Serbia but the critical mass of good value airfares provided via LCC s is still largely absent

FR’s new Paphos service has lots of €25 airfares... hopefully it ( and Lauda ) are just a start
 
SCQ83
Posts: 5785
Joined: Wed Oct 03, 2012 8:32 pm

Re: Lauda to start flights to Beirut

Mon Oct 21, 2019 4:24 pm

directorguy wrote:
It's ironic that most people here don't exactly see Lebanon as a tourist draw. The majority of visitors to Lebanon are usually from nearby countries like Saudi, Kuwait, Egypt etc and they love it. The inverse is true for Jordan. It's a shame Lebanon is poorly perceived as a tourist destination in European countries.


I have been myself to Lebanon (and to Israel and Jordan), and while Lebanon can have some OK spots (however charged significantly higher than good spots in Spain, Italy or Greece), it has not much to draw tourists there from Europe. It has nothing "unique" like the Dead Sea (Jordan/Israel), Jerusalem and the Holy Sites or Petra/Wadi Rum (or in the case of your country, the Pyramids and all the Egyptian stuff). Yes, there are some Phoenician ruins, but there are Roman/Greek ruins everywhere in Europe. And it cannot compete in price or safety with other nearby country.

I also have the feeling that tourism from GCC must be declining. A quick Google search shows I am right: https://thearabweekly.com/lebanon-fails ... travel-ban

I reckon Saudi/GCC tourists now travel to Turkey (with way better quality/price relation, safer and more stuff to do) or even Egypt (Flynas and Saudia even fly to Sharm-El-Sheikh now). And why not, even places like Greece or Cyprus. UAE citizens are already visa-free to the Schengen area. If Saudis get Visa free and there are more low-cost carriers from the EU (it would interesting something like Paphos-Jeddah on Ryanair if the bilateral would ever allow that; given that KSA is now crazy about getting tourists who knows), then I could even see more GCCers moving away from Lebanon for long weekends or bank holidays.
 
peterinlisbon
Posts: 1824
Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2006 3:37 am

Re: Lauda to start flights to Beirut

Mon Oct 21, 2019 4:29 pm

directorguy wrote:
It's ironic that most people here don't exactly see Lebanon as a tourist draw. The majority of visitors to Lebanon are usually from nearby countries like Saudi, Kuwait, Egypt etc and they love it. The inverse is true for Jordan. It's a shame Lebanon is poorly perceived as a tourist destination in European countries.


I went there a few months ago and it was great. Whilst it's true that some places are expensive (such as the cafes at the marina), in general food the prices are about the same as Europe and certainly less than Israel. You can have a nice felafel sandwhich for about 2$, a taxi from the airport is 15$ and a decent 3* hotel in Hamra (Beirut) is 30$/night. To rent a car was 20$/day. Plus there is actually quite a lot to see - good food, a fascinating history, ski resorts in the mountains and a mixture of Christian and Muslim culture. I'd definitely recommend Lebanon to anyone that wants to go. It's just unfortunate that they have such severe economic problems and are surrounded by problematic neighbors.
 
luckyone
Posts: 3108
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Re: Lauda to start flights to Beirut

Tue Oct 22, 2019 4:15 am

SCQ83 wrote:
directorguy wrote:
It's ironic that most people here don't exactly see Lebanon as a tourist draw. The majority of visitors to Lebanon are usually from nearby countries like Saudi, Kuwait, Egypt etc and they love it. The inverse is true for Jordan. It's a shame Lebanon is poorly perceived as a tourist destination in European countries.


I have been myself to Lebanon (and to Israel and Jordan), and while Lebanon can have some OK spots (however charged significantly higher than good spots in Spain, Italy or Greece), it has not much to draw tourists there from Europe. It has nothing "unique" like the Dead Sea (Jordan/Israel), Jerusalem and the Holy Sites or Petra/Wadi Rum (or in the case of your country, the Pyramids and all the Egyptian stuff). Yes, there are some Phoenician ruins, but there are Roman/Greek ruins everywhere in Europe. And it cannot compete in price or safety with other nearby country.

I also have the feeling that tourism from GCC must be declining. A quick Google search shows I am right: https://thearabweekly.com/lebanon-fails ... travel-ban

I reckon Saudi/GCC tourists now travel to Turkey (with way better quality/price relation, safer and more stuff to do) or even Egypt (Flynas and Saudia even fly to Sharm-El-Sheikh now). And why not, even places like Greece or Cyprus. UAE citizens are already visa-free to the Schengen area. If Saudis get Visa free and there are more low-cost carriers from the EU (it would interesting something like Paphos-Jeddah on Ryanair if the bilateral would ever allow that; given that KSA is now crazy about getting tourists who knows), then I could even see more GCCers moving away from Lebanon for long weekends or bank holidays.

I’ve no doubt that KSA will have things to offer tourists, in particular the novelty crowd who will go just because one couldn’t before. But with respect to Saudi tourism let’s not lose sight of a few things. Though certain standards are being relaxed, the KSA is still THE most conservative country in the neighborhood—that won’t change quickly as people will only absorb so much change quickly. Beirut, and now Dubai, have reputations as party towns for people in the GCC looking for relaxed rules relative to their homes. They won’t find that in KSA.
 
directorguy
Posts: 1403
Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2008 10:58 am

Re: Lauda to start flights to Beirut

Tue Oct 22, 2019 8:14 am

SCQ83 wrote:
directorguy wrote:
It's ironic that most people here don't exactly see Lebanon as a tourist draw. The majority of visitors to Lebanon are usually from nearby countries like Saudi, Kuwait, Egypt etc and they love it. The inverse is true for Jordan. It's a shame Lebanon is poorly perceived as a tourist destination in European countries.


I have been myself to Lebanon (and to Israel and Jordan), and while Lebanon can have some OK spots (however charged significantly higher than good spots in Spain, Italy or Greece), it has not much to draw tourists there from Europe. It has nothing "unique" like the Dead Sea (Jordan/Israel), Jerusalem and the Holy Sites or Petra/Wadi Rum (or in the case of your country, the Pyramids and all the Egyptian stuff). Yes, there are some Phoenician ruins, but there are Roman/Greek ruins everywhere in Europe. And it cannot compete in price or safety with other nearby country.

I also have the feeling that tourism from GCC must be declining. A quick Google search shows I am right: https://thearabweekly.com/lebanon-fails ... travel-ban

I reckon Saudi/GCC tourists now travel to Turkey (with way better quality/price relation, safer and more stuff to do) or even Egypt (Flynas and Saudia even fly to Sharm-El-Sheikh now). And why not, even places like Greece or Cyprus. UAE citizens are already visa-free to the Schengen area. If Saudis get Visa free and there are more low-cost carriers from the EU (it would interesting something like Paphos-Jeddah on Ryanair if the bilateral would ever allow that; given that KSA is now crazy about getting tourists who knows), then I could even see more GCCers moving away from Lebanon for long weekends or bank holidays.


Lebanon is viewed by people from other Arab countries as being very glamorous and chic, with wonderful scenery, fantastic food, and a general joie de vivre that has no rival in the region. People think of Beirut as the Paris of the Middle East, and Lebanon as the Switzerland. Jordan may have more important historic monuments, and better infrastructure for incoming tourists, but it doesn't quite have the glamour that Lebanon does. Jordan is a fantastic country to visit, but most people in the region will prefer Lebanon, its dysfunctional way of life notwithstanding. People from outside the ME probably don't see Lebanon the same way though.
Egypt of course being a bigger country has much more variety, but the real moneymaker isn't the Pyramids. Most of the tourism revenues come from the beach holiday towns on the Red Sea (Sharm, Hurghada etc.). Now Saudi is trying to compete with this by announcing several mega projects on their side of the Red Sea. It'll be interesting to see if and when these actually materialize.

GCCers love Lebanon because, well, they're very well treated over there (although there is now widespread discontent with Saudi meddling in Lebanese politics). Whereas if they go to Paphos or Athens or wherever I don't think they'll be pampered as much. Schengen visas processed in the GCC countries usually have fast processing times and GCC nationals usually get decent visa durations. It's not perfect, but not too bad either. I expect Kuwait and Qatar to receive Schengen visa-exemption ahead of Saudi Arabia though. Perhaps it'll happen when the Schengen ESTIA online visa waiver becomes active in the next few years.

peterinlisbon wrote:
directorguy wrote:
It's ironic that most people here don't exactly see Lebanon as a tourist draw. The majority of visitors to Lebanon are usually from nearby countries like Saudi, Kuwait, Egypt etc and they love it. The inverse is true for Jordan. It's a shame Lebanon is poorly perceived as a tourist destination in European countries.


I went there a few months ago and it was great. Whilst it's true that some places are expensive (such as the cafes at the marina), in general food the prices are about the same as Europe and certainly less than Israel. You can have a nice felafel sandwhich for about 2$, a taxi from the airport is 15$ and a decent 3* hotel in Hamra (Beirut) is 30$/night. To rent a car was 20$/day. Plus there is actually quite a lot to see - good food, a fascinating history, ski resorts in the mountains and a mixture of Christian and Muslim culture. I'd definitely recommend Lebanon to anyone that wants to go. It's just unfortunate that they have such severe economic problems and are surrounded by problematic neighbors.

Glad you liked it! Lebanon is indeed fantastic and well worth the effort.
 
SCQ83
Posts: 5785
Joined: Wed Oct 03, 2012 8:32 pm

Re: Lauda to start flights to Beirut

Tue Oct 22, 2019 3:56 pm

directorguy wrote:
Lebanon is viewed by people from other Arab countries as being very glamorous and chic, with wonderful scenery, fantastic food, and a general joie de vivre that has no rival in the region. People think of Beirut as the Paris of the Middle East, and Lebanon as the Switzerland. Jordan may have more important historic monuments, and better infrastructure for incoming tourists, but it doesn't quite have the glamour that Lebanon does. Jordan is a fantastic country to visit, but most people in the region will prefer Lebanon, its dysfunctional way of life notwithstanding. People from outside the ME probably don't see Lebanon the same way though. GCCers love Lebanon because, well, they're very well treated over there (although there is now widespread discontent with Saudi meddling in Lebanese politics).


Lebanon is structurally declining and will fall further as a destination for GCCers. Saudi and the other GCC countries are moving towards a more Western-lifestyle in terms of expenditures and trips abroad. So that people is looking for more bang for the buck. With more and more low-cost flights from the GCC, flying to other places instead of BEY makes more sense. Getting to (more glamorous) Europe is cheaper than ever, and if they want a more affordable vacation, Sharm-El-Sheikh or Antalya are now a low-cost Flynas from Jeddah. I see BEY as somewhere in the middle without offering the advantages of each of the other options. Lebanon made sense when travelling far away was expensive from Saudi or Kuwait, and there was nothing to do there (specially in KSA).

I also forgot Morocco which is becoming trendy for GCCers (the Saudi king now usually goes to his palace in Tangier for holiday). Just look at how Marrakech has advanced in the last 10 years. It is almost the new Barcelona for tourists from all over the world. The world has moved (included many other parts of the Arab world), and Lebanon keeps stuck in their "LB is the best place in the world" like this is 1999.
 
Cedric13
Topic Author
Posts: 69
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2018 6:04 pm

Re: Lauda to start flights to Beirut

Wed Oct 30, 2019 5:40 pm

directorguy wrote:
It's ironic that most people here don't exactly see Lebanon as a tourist draw. The majority of visitors to Lebanon are usually from nearby countries like Saudi, Kuwait, Egypt etc and they love it. The inverse is true for Jordan. It's a shame Lebanon is poorly perceived as a tourist destination in European countries.

Actually, Lebanon had a record number of tourists this summer (over 2 million) and a big number of them were from Europe. Beaches were filled with Europeans coming in busses. Downtown, nightclubs and bars were always full of tourists too. It was a very promising season. Even now, during the off-season and the protests there are still plenty of tourists and Europeans.

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