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Kuwait Airways
Kuwaitairways.png
IATA
KU
ICAO
KAC
Callsign
KUWAITI
Founded 1954
Hubs Kuwait International Airport
Frequent flyer program Oasis Club, Maraheb (new 2009)
Member lounge Dasman Lounge
Alliance Arab Air Carriers Organization
Fleet size 21 (+67 orders)cancelled
Destinations 44
Company slogan Earning Your Trust
Headquarters Kuwait City, Kuwait
Key people Hamad Abdullatif Al-Falah, CEO
Website http://www.kuwaitairways.com

Kuwait Airways (Arabic: الخطوط الجوية الكويتية‎) is the national airline of Kuwait, based in Kuwait City and wholly owned by the Kuwaiti Government. It operates scheduled international services throughout the Middle East, to the Indian subcontinent, Europe, Southeast Asia and North America. Its main base is Kuwait International Airport.[1] Kuwait Airways is a member of the Arab Air Carriers Organization.

Contents

History

On the wave of the oil boom of the 1940s, a national carrier was born in 1954. Initially, Kuwait Airways Company served a limited network of Abadan, Beirut, Damascus and Jerusalem but a year later the fledgling carrier was facing economic hardship, and the government of Kuwait took a 50% interest in the airline, subsequently doubling the company's capital. Having entered the rough and tumble world of aviation, the government finally took out 100% share in Kuwait Airways.

Kuwait Airways entered the jet age in 1962 by leasing a Comet 4-C, the world's first jet-engined airliner. In the 1960s, the national carrier rapidly expanded its route map, and scheduled services to London begun three times a week. To keep pace with fast-moving aviation needs, three Boeing 707s were delivered in 1968. Ten years later, Kuwait Airways had an all -Boeing 707 fleet of eight aircraft.

In 1978, Kuwait Airways entered the wide-body age by taking delivery of its first two B747-200s, adding a third the following year. This expansion permitted Kuwait Airways to extend its network to New York to the west and Manila to the east.

Modernization of the fleet continued, and four Boeing 727-200 were delivered in 1980-1981. Two years later eight Airbus A310 and Airbus A300-600 were delivered, and in 1986 three Boeing 767-200ER aircraft joined the wide-body fleet.

Following the destruction of its premises and 42 of its aircraft during the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, the airline was relaunched. Kuwait Airways fleet now comprises four A320-200, three A310-300, five A300-605R, five A340-300 and two Boeing 777-200ER, bringing the fleet to 20 aircraft, equipped with the oldest entertainment systems from the 90s.

Kuwait Airways aims to re-establish its network to reach more than 47 countries around the globe with a firm commitment to providing the finest service and comfort to passengers while continuing to rank safety as one of highest priorities.

The airline has 5,915 employees (at March 2009).[1]

In October 2007, the new CEO pledged that the airline should be privatised in order for it to compete efficiently against other airlines. He says that the airline will encounter difficulty in advancing, especially in fleet renewal, without the privatisation.[2]

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Hijackings in the 1980s

Boeing 747-400M taxis to the take off point at London Heathrow Airport, England.
  • During the Iran–Iraq War, Kuwait Airways was the target of two hijackings.[3] The first was in 1984, when two Lebanese Shi'a gunmen diverted a flight to Tehran. The stand-off took six days but finally Iranian security officers dressed as staff overpowered the hijackers.
  • In April 1988 a Kuwait Airways Boeing 747 was hijacked and diverted to Algiers while on its way to Kuwait from Bangkok. The hijacking lasted 16 days and ended with a Kuwaiti firefighter being killed along with another Kuwaiti military person. This occurred when the plane stopped in Cyprus for two or three days, where the government of Cyprus was not able to save the two persons killed. Then it moved to Algeria where the hijacker's demands were satisfied and where the 110 remaining passengers were released.

Destinations

see full article: Kuwait Airways destinations.

File:Kuwait Airways.jpg
Kuwait Airways A340 landing

As of September 2009, Kuwait Airways flies to 44 international destinations in 28 countries across Africa, Asia, Europe and North America from its hub at Kuwait International Airport. (Route Map)

Codeshare agreements

Fleet

The Kuwait Airways fleet includes the following aircraft (as of September 2009):

Kuwait Airways Fleet[4]
Aircraft In Service Orders Passengers
(First/Business/Economy)
Entry into Service
Airbus A300-600R

Failaka, Burghan, Wafra, Wara, Al-Rawdhatain

5 0 232 (18/18/196) In Service
Airbus A310-300

Al-Jahra, Gharnada, Kadhma

3 0 198 (00/24/174) In Service
Airbus A320-200

Bubbyan, Kubbar, Qurtoba, Al-Waha

4 0 130 (00/20/110) In Service
Airbus A330-200

Al-Hareer

1 0 272 (32/24/216) In Service
Airbus A340-300

Warba, Bayan, Al-Sabahiya, Al-Mobarakiya, Al-Riggah

5 0 264 (18/24/222)*
272 (18/24/230)
In Service
Boeing 747-400M

Al-Jabriya

1 0 412 (36/36/340) In Service for VIP, Cairo or London Operations
Boeing 777-200ER

Al-Qurain, Garouh

2 0 267 (24/24/219)*
273 (24/24/225)
In Service
Total 21

*Only on direct flights to JFK from KWI and vice versa.

Kuwait Airways has planned to be privatized in 2010. The A310-300 and A320-200 will be withdrawn and will be the replaced with seven new A320-200s and the new Boeing 787-8 in later 2011. Kuwait Airways had also planned to have more than 80 destinations from 2012.

References

  1. ^ a b "Directory: World Airlines". Flight International: p. 103. 2007-04-03.  
  2. ^ Airline need privatisation to advance Flight Global, 31/10/07
  3. ^ BBC News
  4. ^ Our Fleet

External links


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