Middle East Airlines
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- IATA Code
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- Middle East Airlines AirLiban S.A.
Beirut International Airport
- Main hub
- Beirut International Airport
- Business model
- Full Service Carrier
- Joined Alliance
- Association Membership
- Codeshare Partners
Beirut-based Middle East Airlines (MEA) is the national airline of Lebanon and is majority-owned by Banque du Liban. The carrier operates an extensive regional network within the Middle East as well as international scheduled services to Europe and Africa. Middle East Airlines announced plans to become a member of the SkyTeam Alliance in 2012.
Location of Middle East Airlines main hub (Beirut International Airport)
111 total articles
18 total articles
Middle East Airlines (MEA) formally joined SkyTeam on 28-Jun-2012, becoming the alliance’s 17th member and second anchor in the fast growing Middle East region. With the addition of Saudi Arabia Airlines (Saudia) to SkyTeam at the end of May-2012, SkyTeam has swiftly and firmly expanded its presence in the region, which had previously been one of the alliance’s chief white spots.
With a fleet of 16 aircraft and only 30 destinations MEA does not have the heft of Saudia, or some other prospective alliance partners in the region. But it also does not come with the baggage that some other partners would bring. Unlike the ‘Big 3’ of the Gulf region – Emirates, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airlines – MEA’s ambitions and international reach are relatively modest and will not significantly overlap with existing SkyTeam members. It has also been consistently profitable over the past decade, something of a rarity for smaller state-owned carriers in the Middle East, and has an efficient, modern fleet offering reasonable service and product standards.
Saudi Arabia’s LCC experiment may be drawing to an unwelcome close. nasair, the kingdom’s first – and now sole surviving – LCC announced it has suffered a 1Q2011 loss, due to the troubled situation in the Middle East and North Africa reducing passenger traffic and the increasing price of oil.
There are more than 30 airlines around the world publicly talking of conducting an IPO to help diversify funding sources, coinciding with improved demand and economic conditions. Aircraft deliveries are also accelerating, with more than 1400 aircraft scheduled for delivery this year alone, prompting the need for additional financing. However, concerns over rising fuel costs in recent weeks have had affected oil prices and, hence, the attractiveness of airlines.
The political instability engulfing some North African states has extensive implications for tourism and aviation across the region. Already dozens of governments are warning their citizens to avoid travel to Egypt. Several have chartered aircraft to ferry their nationals out. Cairo Airport has been met with chaotic scenes in the past few days as thousands of foreigners seek to leave. In this special report, CAPA reviews the immediate aviation and tourism impacts from the North Africa/Middle East civil unrest.
Qatar Airways’ CEO Akbar Al Baker announced on 20-Dec-2010 that Qatar Airways is on track to declare “a very hefty profit” this year, clearing the way for an IPO. The CEO stated he is "pretty confident" the carrier will launch an IPO in early 2012, after achieving three consecutive years of profitability.
Kuwait-based premium carrier Wataniya Airways announced it plans to suspend services to Amman, Bahrain, Damascus and Jeddah and reduce the frequency of operations to Dubai. In a major downsizing, the carrier’s fleet will be cut from seven to four aircraft, and it is studying options to cut its workforce. The changes will commence from 05-Dec-2010.
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