MEA to join skyteam in 2007

Old Jan 16, 06, 9:26 am
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MEA to join skyteam in 2007

Just read that Middle East Airlines-Air Liban (MEA) is announced to join skyteam in 2007 (so in reallity as it always takes longer than announced probably 2008)
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Old Jan 16, 06, 1:15 pm
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This has been in the making since 2004. The CEO of MEA had declared two years ago that they would join Skyteam in 2005 and then all went quiet until today. AF has been the main backer of MEA for joining Skyteam.
The two companies work very closely on the BEY-CDG route with three flights/day. Note that the BEY-CDG is the second highest profitable route in the AF network.
Lebanon is one of the only countries in the world which has more citizens living overseas (10million people) than living in the country (4 million) and thus has a very heavy traffic from America/Africa/Europe especially through CDG (due to being a "francophone" country)
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Old Jan 16, 06, 2:50 pm
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Originally Posted by ALEXIS2004
(...) and thus has a very heavy traffic (...)
They (AF and MEA) even use big aircrafts (332 and 77W!) on this rather short route (4 hr 20).
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Old Jan 16, 06, 4:39 pm
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Originally Posted by ALEXIS2004
This has been in the making since 2004. The CEO of MEA had declared two years ago that they would join Skyteam in 2005 and then all went quiet until today. AF has been the main backer of MEA for joining Skyteam.
The two companies work very closely on the BEY-CDG route with three flights/day. Note that the BEY-CDG is the second highest profitable route in the AF network.
Lebanon is one of the only countries in the world which has more citizens living overseas (10million people) than living in the country (4 million) and thus has a very heavy traffic from America/Africa/Europe especially through CDG (due to being a "francophone" country)
The reason MEA didnt join earlier is because they are offered "associate" membership... meaning:

As an associate member, MEA will have to shut down CedarMiles and adopt AirFrance's FlyingBlue. This is a disaster on different levels.
1- MEA will no longer have access to valuable customer data that shows who and what its most valuable customers do
2- MEA will have no say in any SkyTeam decision, they do not even have a vote!
3- MEA is bound to "consult" with Big Sister Air France before starting or changing any new service as an associate member; however the reverse is not true.

I am not sure what changed?! probably RJ joining OneWorld...
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Old Jan 16, 06, 8:31 pm
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Originally Posted by FlyACN
The reason MEA didnt join earlier is because they are offered "associate" membership... meaning:

As an associate member, MEA will have to shut down CedarMiles and adopt AirFrance's FlyingBlue. This is a disaster on different levels.
1- MEA will no longer have access to valuable customer data that shows who and what its most valuable customers do
2- MEA will have no say in any SkyTeam decision, they do not even have a vote!
3- MEA is bound to "consult" with Big Sister Air France before starting or changing any new service as an associate member; however the reverse is not true.

I am not sure what changed?! probably RJ joining OneWorld...
Actually, MEA was very well aware from the beginning that they won't get full membership, they're too small.

Someone on Airliners.net posted the reason why their membership has been continuously delayed. Apparantly there was disagreement within the company about whather MEA could keep up to its commitments to SkyTeam while others believed they could.

I think like you said, RJ joining One World put a lot of pressure on them so they decided to join.

I don't think they will give up their Cedar Miles program. They will join Flying Blue but at the same time keep the Cedar Miles program. I am pretty sure this can be done. Kind of like how airlines can strike code-share agreements with different airlines like how MEA has a code-share agreement with both Qatar Airways and Air France.

Keep in mind that if MEA is forced to give up their Cedar Miles program, then I think they will be forced to end their code-share agreement with Qatar Airways. It's either that, or Air France, KLM, and Kenya Airways (all Flying Blue users) will be drawn into being code-share partners with Qatar Airways which will not happen...

Also, if MEA is forced to give up Cedar Miles, then how will this affect the new MEA credit card being offered by Bank Audi? It is directly tied to the Cedar Miles program.

So I just can't see them dropping the Cedar Miles program.

Regards
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Old Jan 17, 06, 10:22 am
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Originally Posted by BA
Actually, MEA was very well aware from the beginning that they won't get full membership, they're too small.

Someone on Airliners.net posted the reason why their membership has been continuously delayed. Apparantly there was disagreement within the company about whather MEA could keep up to its commitments to SkyTeam while others believed they could.

I think like you said, RJ joining One World put a lot of pressure on them so they decided to join.

I don't think they will give up their Cedar Miles program. They will join Flying Blue but at the same time keep the Cedar Miles program. I am pretty sure this can be done. Kind of like how airlines can strike code-share agreements with different airlines like how MEA has a code-share agreement with both Qatar Airways and Air France.

Keep in mind that if MEA is forced to give up their Cedar Miles program, then I think they will be forced to end their code-share agreement with Qatar Airways. It's either that, or Air France, KLM, and Kenya Airways (all Flying Blue users) will be drawn into being code-share partners with Qatar Airways which will not happen...

Also, if MEA is forced to give up Cedar Miles, then how will this affect the new MEA credit card being offered by Bank Audi? It is directly tied to the Cedar Miles program.

So I just can't see them dropping the Cedar Miles program.

Regards
This is already done... you can earn FB miles on ME flights... no big deal... but as per the associate agreement, and i quote, THEY HAVE TO ADOBT ONE OF THE MEMBER'S FF PROGRAM, in this case AF.

Why? simple... as an associate member, the big airline dont want to link up to ME's database to know who is an elite, who isnt and what does he get SkyTeam wise... so they force smaller carriers in the associate programs to use a FF already linked.

COPA is using CO's OnePass
KE is using FlyingBlue
TAROM is converting to Alitalia's FFP

and so forth...
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Old Jan 17, 06, 1:56 pm
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Originally Posted by FlyACN
KE is using FlyingBlue
...
I think you meant to say KQ, not KE. KQ = Kenya Airways; KE = Korean Air. The latter was one of the founding members....
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Old Jan 17, 06, 7:06 pm
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Originally Posted by ClipperDelta
I think you meant to say KQ, not KE. KQ = Kenya Airways; KE = Korean Air. The latter was one of the founding members....
I stand corrected.
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Old Jan 18, 06, 1:59 am
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any idea what will happen to Air Europa? getting FB, too since AF is their partner in the joining proces
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Old Jan 18, 06, 2:24 am
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i expected this, and have been booking all my ME segments to Flying Blue for ages..
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Old Jan 18, 06, 3:29 am
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Originally Posted by BA
I don't think they will give up their Cedar Miles program. They will join Flying Blue but at the same time keep the Cedar Miles program. I am pretty sure this can be done. Kind of like how airlines can strike code-share agreements with different airlines like how MEA has a code-share agreement with both Qatar Airways and Air France.

Keep in mind that if MEA is forced to give up their Cedar Miles program, then I think they will be forced to end their code-share agreement with Qatar Airways. It's either that, or Air France, KLM, and Kenya Airways (all Flying Blue users) will be drawn into being code-share partners with Qatar Airways which will not happen...

Also, if MEA is forced to give up Cedar Miles, then how will this affect the new MEA credit card being offered by Bank Audi? It is directly tied to the Cedar Miles program.

So I just can't see them dropping the Cedar Miles program.

Regards
In case they maintain the Cedar Miles program, Air France will pressure them into fixing some loopholes to make both FFP's equal.

For example, a BEY-CDG reward ticket under MEA costs 35,000 miles in Y and 50,000miles in C, whereas with AF it is 40,000miles and 60,000miles. In addition, MEA has a yearly 50% sale on rewards from 1 October to 15 December whereas AF has no offers. Cedar Mile Gold members get a yearly 2 (or 3, I am not sure) free ugrade coupons whereas FB Golds/Plats do not get any equivalent etc...

So, the people who chose FB rather than Cedar Miles are unhappy about their situation. Inside info also is that AF is not at all happy about these discrepancies.
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