Kuwait Airways is the national airline of Kuwait. It is fully owned by the Government of Kuwait. A member of the Arab Air Carriers Organization, the airline operates its scheduled international flights throughout the Middle East, to the Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia, the Americas and Europe, via its main hub - Kuwait International Airport, which is located in Kuwait City. Currently, the airline operates a modern fleet. It is planning to increase the number of destinations in the near future. Go through the following lines to check out the history and profile of Kuwait Airways.
The concept of establishing an airline in Kuwait was proposed in February 1953 by two Kuwaiti businesspersons and the airline was established on March 1954. The airline started its operations in the same year. Originally established as Kuwait National Airways, the name of the airline was changed to Kuwait Airways, in 1958, when it modernized its fleet. The airline went on to expand its business in 1960s, by increasing its fleet and the network of international destinations.
Kuwait Airways reached another milestone in 1962, by entering into the Jet age. At that time, it leased a Comet 4-C, which is world's first jet-engine airliner. With the delivery of its first two Boeing 747-200s, Kuwait Airways stepped into the age of wide bodied aircrafts. This gave the airline the excellent opportunity to extend its network to New York to the west and Manila to the east. The national carrier of Kuwait expanded its business further in the 1970s, by increasing the destinations covered by it within the Middle East.
Effect Of Gulf War
The Gulf War in 1990 heavily affected the business of Kuwait Airways. Many planes of the airline were grounded, due to the invasion. During the occupation, the operations of the airline were temporarily transferred to Bahrain. However, the airline managed to fly a free service with Boeing 727 aircraft, on the Bombay-Bahrain-Cairo-London route. The aircraft operated the free service, with a modified livery. At that time, Bahrain became the operational headquarters of the airline. The War left a serious effect on the operations of Kuwait Airways, which was quiet visible in the composition of its fleet. The latest development is that the airline's CEO has proposed for its privatization, in October 2007, in order to compete with the efficient airlines.
Fleet And Codeshare Agreements
Currently, Kuwait Airways operates a fleet of 22 aircrafts, namely Boeing 777-200ER, Boeing 747-400M, Airbus A340-300, Airbus A330-200, Airbus A320-200, Airbus A310-300 and Airbus A300-600R. The airline plans to include more aircrafts in its fleet, to make it a total of 80, by 2012. Kuwait Airways has come to a codeshare agreements with Ethiopian Airlines, Olympic Airlines, Tunisair, Etihad Airways and Ukraine International Airlines, in order to fly to Addis Ababa, Athens, Tunis, Abu Dhabi and Kiev, respectively.
Currently, Kuwait Airways operates its scheduled flights to 52 international destinations in 37 countries across Africa, Asia, Europe and North America. The destinations covered by the airline in Africa include Egypt and Morocco. It flies to Bangladesh, India (to Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Chennai, Cochin and Trivandrum), Pakistan and Sri Lanka in South Asia. The Southeast Asian, to which the airline flies, are Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand and Malaysia. In Southwest Asia, the airline covers Yemen, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, Lebanon, Kuwait, Jordan, Iran and Bahrain. In Europe, it plies flights to France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, United Kingdom and Spain. The North American countries covered by the airline are United States of America and Canada.