To everyone's disappointment, efforts to introduce direct flights between Canada and Lebanon have been let down by Canada's federal government.

Last month, a senior Middle East Airlines (MEA) official announced that the airline was negotiating an agreement with Air Canada to introduce the first direct flights to and from the two countries.

It seems as though the plan will not come to light, as the federal government has rejected the airlines' application for "security reasons", according to a top official at Air Canada. 

"Just learned that the Fed Govt turned us down on our new Montreal-Beirut service. Huge disappointment for us and [the] Lebanese community here," Duncan Bureau, Air Canada's vice president of global sales, tweeted on Monday.

Bureau then posted a follow-up tweet, in which he explained that "security reasons were cited".

Canadian Transport Minister Marc Garneau also mentioned security concerns, saying that the decision aims at preserving "the security of Canadian passengers". 

"[This] just does not make a lot of sense," said Bureau, noting that several international airlines, including British Airways, Air France and Lufthansa, offer direct flights from and to Beirut. 

Additionally, as the Huffington Post points out, Canada allows flights from many destinations that might raise security concerns, such as Turkey and Occupied Palestine, as well as Egypt, where a Russian plane departing Cairo crashed in a suspected terror attack in 2015. 

In a previous talk with the Huffington Post concerning possible Canada-Lebanon flights, Global Affairs Canada officials made reference to the 1985 hijacking of Trans World Airlines Flight 847 by Islamic militants. 

The plane was supposed to fly to Rome, but it was diverted and flown to the Middle East, landing in Beirut for a few hours.  

The disappointment is real

People "need" a direct link between Lebanon and Canada


People are tired of wasting time during layovers

"A direct flight is essential for the development of economic and commercial relations [between Canada and Lebanon]," said Mohamed Badreddine of the Canada-Lebanon Chamber of Commerce. 

In 2016, people launched a petition demanding direct flights between Canada and Lebanon.