The CEO of MEA anounced today that the airline has ordered 8 brand new aircraft which will be delivered in 2008 and 2009. According to al-Akhbar sources, the order consists of 4 A330 and 4 A319 aircraft, with the deal (contract) to be signed before the end of 2006.
It was also reported that the company have made a decision to float 25% of its shares on the Beirut Stock Exchange. However, this has been delayed for the time being due to the losses the company suffered in the recent events, which are estimated around $45 million. The shares were expected to appear by mid 2007. Due to sources inside MEA, the company still expects to show a profit of $15 million for 2006 despite the heavy losses it suffered this summer, thanks to the unexpectedly high yeilds in the month of October.
As for the latest aircraft order, an MEA source confirms that negotiations begun in January of this year and both Boeing and Airbus were contacted. Airbus offered a better deal (price) and delivery dates. The source declined to give details of the price of the aircraft but noted that these will appear in the company's detailed balance for the years of 2008 and 2009.
Middle East Airlines - Airliban of Lebanon has placed an order with Airbus for 8 new aircraft for deliveries between 2008 and 2009. The order consists of 4 Airbus A319 and 4 Airbus A330-200.
The 4 new A330-200 aircraft will replace the current 3 A330-200s leased from ILFC. The 4 A319 aircraft will support the current fleet of fully owned 6 A321s in order to strengthen the current route structure.
With the new order it will bring MEAs total fleet to 14 aircraft up from 9.
Our Country is in complete political melt down and we are holding a Paris donor confrence in January to Beg the world for Money to save our beloved nation and here we have our only National Airline spending in excess of 300 Million US Dollars in order to Acquire 8 new Aircraft.
This is beyond stupid, they did this before the start of the civil War and took delivery of thier first 747-200 whithin the first year of the Civil War Inchallah this is not going to be a case of Deja Vu but 3anjad its stupid.
What our country needs now is Better welfare, more jobs, rebuilding of infustructure, a A small Airforce Battalion and some Anti- Aircraft Rockets then we will worry about buying new Civil Aircraft.
I would have waited at least 1 year if not 3 to see where the current situation in Lebanon is headed, inchallah khier bass 3anjad El Houte Majnoun.
Location: "como todo buen piloto... mujeriego y borracho"
I sincerely wish MEA and the people of Lebanon the best, however, a Government subsidized airline that buys new aircraft (where did the money come from?) just before privatization in a heavily armed and politically/religiously polarized country with a history of armed conflict that is going through a significant political crisis with an unknown outcome . . . I don't know if I could conjur up as much optimism or if MEA's growth is really that unstopable or sustainable . . . but as I said I wish for the best also, but I would be worried.
The point am trying to make, MEA is goverment owned and thus meaning any money it will spend will be goverment sanctioned in order for them to spend this approximate 300 million US Dollars on these new planes.
Personally I see this money better spent on helping those people that have had thier homes bombed, those jobless people in Lebanon, the Poor and the homeless and not to mention the entire Security in the country needs an upgrade.
I feel that if MEA is able to make a profit then so be it, but they have choosen the worst time to spend this money, As a Lebanese I find this absolutly stupid and not worth my while.
If Lebanon needs more capacity then so be it, stop this Monopoly on Air Travel, Its maddeness come on, its like AA buying new Planes after Sept 11 it just would never happen and its the same with Lebanon it should not Happen until the country is no longer crippled by Political problems and as well as other welfare issues that need attended to.
Wannabe Planes ordered today will need 2-3 years until delivery. The situation will have changed by then. A 5 aircraft increase in 3 years time for MEA is not a lot as they run out of seats during the high season even when the political/security situation is bad. MEA planes are financed by foreign banks not by the Government of Lebanon, so they will not be taking money away from defence expenditures or relief aid.