Middle East Airlines (MEA), the national carrier of Lebanon, is making its foray into the Georgian air market with a strategic move. After assessing the potential of the route, the airline has commenced 10 charter flights on the Beirut-Tbilisi-Beirut air route. Depending on the response and demand from passengers, MEA will determine whether to continue operating regular flights on this route in the future. This decision comes after MEA’s successful operations in Armenia, where it runs three weekly flights with high passenger traffic.
The first charter flight from Beirut to Georgia took place on July 19, with MEA achieving a commendable 75% load factor. After this, the airline operated a second flight, which recorded a satisfactory 45% load factor. Considering that MEA did not carry out an open marketing campaign for these initial flights, these numbers bode well for the airline’s prospects in the new market.
The motivation behind launching direct flights between Beirut and Tbilisi stemmed from the influx of passengers traveling from Beirut to Georgia through various indirect routes and airlines. With significant demand for this route, MEA decided to step in and offer direct connectivity to meet the needs of travelers.
Facilitating MEA’s operations in Georgia is “Sidon Travel,” which not only represents the airline effectively but also serves as its General Sales Agent (GSA) in the region. This strategic partnership will aid in capturing a sizeable share of the market.
MEA has a rich history, dating back to its establishment in 1945, and made its inaugural flight a year later in 1946. The airline’s base at Beirut Rafik Hariri International Airport positions it as a key player in international air travel, serving destinations across Asia, Europe, and Africa.
Over the years, MEA has expanded its horizons by becoming a member of the esteemed SkyTeam aviation alliance, as well as joining the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the Arab Air Carriers Organization.
As MEA ventures into the Georgian market, all eyes are on the success of its charter flights. Depending on the outcomes and passenger response, the airline will soon decide on the future of regular flights on the Beirut-Tbilisi route, solidifying its presence in the region and providing a valuable service to travelers.