Over the course of our more than 70 year history as Lebanon’s national airline, Middle East Airlines (MEA), has evolved to become a dynamic international carrier. We now fly to six continents and we’ve also been a member of the SkyTeam Alliance since 2012. In the spirit of Lebanese culture and hospitality, we offer our customers very luxurious services both on the ground and in the air.
Competition is fierce in the Middle East, especially for carriers seeking to entice the lucrative luxury traveller segment. With this in mind, we’ve differentiated our services to better cater to the needs of luxury travellers.
For example, ancillary products are often included in the ticket price, making comfort and top in-flight services part of the journey for our passengers. We’ve also adapted our product to espouse the best of Business and First Class under one offering. Additionally, we’ve seen increasing demand for a private jet service to Europe and around the Middle East, so we introduced a new affiliate, Cedar Executive, to cater to this niche.
We’re seeing a growing demand for luxury services, a notion supported by the findings of Amadeus’ recent research paper, Shaping the Future of Luxury Travel. The paper, which was fittingly launched at the Amadeus Airline Leaders Forum in Dubai, where we were in attendance as a guest, specifies that between 2011 and 2015, luxury travel, in terms of outbound flights, saw a 4.5% compound annual growth rate (CAGR), versus 4.2% for overall travel. The paper goes on to suggest that this trend will continue to accelerate over the next ten years, with luxury travel trips projected to grow at a CAGR of 6.2% between 2015 and 2025, almost a third faster than overall travel at 4.8%.
We greet this news with open arms here at MEA as we are directly targeting this market with our top passenger services. For more details on our strategy to cater to the needs of luxury travellers, see my video interview below which was filmed at the Airline Leaders Forum. You can also download a copy of the report here.