MEA CHAIRMAN SAYS OPEN SKIES POLICY LOOSE AND UNREGULATED

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By TESTCustomwebLP TESTCustomwebLP October 31, 2010 10:43

MEA CHAIRMAN SAYS OPEN SKIES POLICY LOOSE AND UNREGULATED

Mohammad Hout chairman of Middle East Airlines (MEA) has warned that the unrestrained and unregulated open sky policy in Lebanon could affect the profitability of the national carrier.

Although Hout s not against the open sky policy in Lebanon, he criticised it for being loose and unregulated. Open skies were approved in the country in 2001 to encourage open competition but Hout has called for the government to ensure all 55 Arab and foreign airlines flying to Rafik Hariri International Airport fully comply with the regulations and procedures that govern the open sky policy.

“If the open sky policy remains loose and unregulated then this will affect the national carrier and eventually the Lebanese Civil Aviation,” Hout said. “Some giant European airlines are particularly displeased with some Arab airlines such as Emirates, Etihad and Qatar Airlines because they all receive indirectly the backing of their governments. This [practice] runs against the principles of free competition.”

Sources in local media suggest MEA profits are suffering due to the lack of proper legal controls of the open sky policy. Profits are down $6 million a month since October 2009 as a result. Hout expects MEA’s profits to fall by 40% this year compared to 2009.

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By TESTCustomwebLP TESTCustomwebLP October 31, 2010 10:43
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