Kuwait Airways Announces Exciting Plans To Lease Eight Airbus Aircraft Over The Next 10 Years

Kuwait Airways has announced plans to lease eight Airbus aircraft over the next decade to boost passenger numbers and capitalise on the Gulf region’s growing popularity as a key tourist destination.

Airbus 321neo
Kuwait Airways is planning to lease eight Airbus 321neos © Airbus

Kuwait Airways Announces Exciting Plans To Lease Eight Airbus Aircraft

Flag carrier Kuwait Airways has announced its intention to lease eight Airbus aircraft over the next 10 years as part of plans to enlarge its current fleet and expand its route network.

At a press conference on Sunday, Kuwait Airways chairman Ali Aldukhan stated that the Gulf airline is currently considering offers from several leasing agencies. Mr. Aldukhan added that the leased planes would exclusively include Airbus 321neo aircraft and that any contract(s) signed will likely last between 8 and 10 years.

The news follows an announcement made earlier this month by Kuwait Airways CEO Maen Razouqi, who shared the company’s plans to increase passenger numbers to 5.5 million by 2025.

Kuwait Airways
Boosting passenger numbers is one of Kuwait Airways’ aims over the coming years © Alan Wilson

Kuwait Airways And Airbus Partnership

At the beginning of 2022, Kuwait Airways increased its initial Airbus order of 28 aircraft to 31 as a part of a multi-year, multimillion-pound deal. At the time, the airline cited its hopes of meeting its goal of operating longer, non-stop services and expanding its offerings across Africa, Europe, North America, and Southeast Asia.

As part of its deal with the manufacturing giant, the carrier’s planned order will include the following aircraft: nine Airbus A320neos, six A321neos, three A321neo LRs, four A330-800neos, seven A330-900neos, and two A350-900s.

Qatar, Emirates and Etihad Aircraft
Gulf carriers are working to expand their offerings to travellers © Md Shaifuzzaman Ayon (top and bottom images) and MarcelX42 (middle image)

An Exciting Year For Gulf Carriers

2023 has proven to be an exciting year for Gulf carriers, with three of the region’s key players reaffirming their commitment to expanding their route network and encouraging business and leisure travel to and from the Persian Gulf.

In March, Qatari flag carrier Qatar Airways announced its plans to add seven new destinations to its existing network, relaunch some former routes and increase the frequency of flights to other destinations. The destinations comprising the new services for 2023 include Chittagong, Bangladesh, Kinshasa, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Lyon and Toulouse, France, Medan, Indonesia, Juba, South Sudan, and Trabzon, Turkey. The expansion of the airline’s route network brings the airline’s offerings to just under 180 destinations worldwide.

In May, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) ‘s flag carrier Emirates signed not one but two memoranda of understanding (MoU) with the Bahrain Tourism and Exhibition Authority and Zambia Tourism as a part of efforts to strengthen tourism in both countries.

The airline currently runs over 20 flights to Bahrain per week. It will now work with the Bahrain Tourism and Exhibition Authority to bolster the country’s appeal in key markets such as Asia and Europe. Moreover, the airline will also focus on promoting Bahrain as a short weekend getaway destination for visitors from Israel and the UAE.

In addition to already operating daily flights to and from the country, as part of its partnership with Zambia Tourism, the airline will work on advertising and marketing campaigns to help drive inbound visitors to Zambia. Key tourist designations for potential visitors to the country include the spectacular Victoria Falls and several famous national parks.

In the same month, the UAE’s second flag carrier Etihad revealed that it would begin operating a new, direct route between the UAE and Osaka, Japan. Flights to the country’s third-largest city will commence in just a few months, on 1st October, and will complement the airline’s existing route to the capital, Tokyo. Visitors to Osaka, the birthplace of instant noodles, can indulge in the city’s thriving culinary scene and take day trips to popular destinations, including Nara, Kobe, Himeji Castle, and more.

Have you flown with Kuwait Airways before? What are your thoughts on the Gulf airlines’ initiatives to boost tourism and connectivity? Let us know in the comments!

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Rachel Dunster
Rachel Dunster
Aviation Reporter