Kuwait Airways has upped the number of planes it has on order from manufacturing giant Airbus from 28 to 31, taking the total estimated value of the deal to $3 billion.

Ali Aldukhan, chairman of the airline, outlined today in Kuwait City that the current order is now for nine Airbus A320neos, six A321neos, three A321neo LRs, four A330-800neos, seven A330-900neos and two A350-900s.

More aircraft needed for future expansion

The airline had agreed initially an order for 25 aircraft in 2014 – 10 A350-900s and 15 A320neos. The agreement was then expanded four years later to 28 jets. The airline continues to adjust the type of aircraft it has on order in response to the development of their planned route offerings.

CEO Maen Razouqi commented in November 2021 that the airline required aircraft capable of operating longer, non-stop services so that it could widen its reach across Europe, Africa, North America and Southeast Asia – “To reach these goals, there must be changes.”

Airbus A330neo
Kuwait needs long-range aircraft, such as the A330neo, to realise its expansion plans | © New York-Air

Last month, Google’s ITA Matrix showed a new (unbookable) route from Kuwait to Manchester, UK, which may become one of the first new routes to be introduced by the airline. Commentators speculated that the route may be introduced to tap into the steady stream of Kuwaiti students travelling to the UK for education, or to target connecting passengers flying to Pakistan or Bangladesh, as the region has a large Pakistani and Bangladeshi diaspora.

The announcement demonstrates the airline’s confidence in its recovery in the wake of the pandemic, and it has undoubtedly faired better than many other airlines. Mr Aldukhan told reporters that his airline did not receive any financial aid from the Kuwaiti government over the past two years and revealed that it hopes to achieve a balanced budget before 2026.

Is there a demand for more connections with Kuwait? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

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