We May Finally Get Direct Montreal-Beirut Flights Again!

Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East

 

(CJPME) have been mobilizing an effort to lift the ban on direct Montreal- flights. Montreal has an estimated 250,000 Lebanese residents and after living there for over 8 years, I got to see how strong  and active the Lebanese community is over there. Montreal has the most number of Lebanese churches outside of , currently at 7 in the greater Montreal area. Everyone is always talking about spending summer or Christmas “down in .” It just seems like a no-brainer to have the direct Montreal- flights. The demand for direct flights is only going to increase as the Canadian government cites the Lebanese population in as growing faster than the overall Canadian population. 49% of whom were born outside of . I remember when I came to from Montreal in the summer of 2005, my flight was hectic (to say the least). It was a direct 10-hour flight to Amman, Jordan then another 2-hour flight from Amman to . I remember thinking how much smoother the trip would be if it was a direct Montreal- flight. In 2003, Air was about to launch a direct Montreal- flight and thousands of Lebanese-Canadians had

bought their tickets

already for that summer. The Canadian Government, citing “national security” issues, withdrew the airline’s license to fly non-stop to . A senior federal government official 

claimed

 

 it was to “safeguard Canadians against ” based on information from the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS). Thing is, there are regular direct flights from the UK, , and . Air runs 3 flights a day between and . So why not from Montreal or Toronto? If it’s safe for all those European countries, why not for ? Is Beirut more dangerous than Pakistan? In 2016 alone, Pakistan has 12 terrorist attacks (including in Lahore) and 20 terrorist attacks the year before (including in Karachi). Yet Air Pakistan runs direct flights between Toronto and 3 Pakistani cities: Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi. What about ? A Russian plane leaving from was brought down by a suspected bomb (killing 224 people). But we still have direct flights between Toronto and Cairo. And ? Just a few months ago, there was a terrorist attack at the Istanbul airport, leaving 45 dead. According to

Kataeb.org

, the head of Beirut’s Rafic Hariri Airport, Fadi El-Hassan, said that Middle East Airline and Air are undergoing “serious negotiations” to bring back the direct Montreal-Beirut flight. Mohammad El Hout, Chairman of MEA, also said:

There is a possibility that MEA will begin direct flights to and Air to . Air stopped flights to more than ten years ago, citing security reasons. We hope this has been abolished now.

 

If you’re living in , you can demand that the government grant the license required to establish direct Montreal-Beirut flights here: Email the Canadian Prime Minister in

English

 or in

French

 

.

 


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