KUWAIT CITY, March 7: Following the recent announcement of a 15.9 per cent increase in frequencies across its entire network for the upcoming International Air Transport Association (IATA) “Summer Season”, starting 26th March 2017, Kuwait Airways has today further detailed its plans for how that will affect its Middle East destinations — a 41.7 per cent increase in the number of flights. Key routes to be directly affected by the official national carrier of Kuwait’s changes to its “Summer Schedule” include increased flight frequencies to: Dubai (18 – 25 flights, per week); Beirut (7-12); Bahrain (8-14); Istanbul (9-12); Amman (13-14); Najaf (2-3); Mashhad (2-3); Doha (9-14); and Tehran (4-5). Effective 1st June 2017, Kuwait Airways’ Dubai route will see a 38.9 per cent increase in frequency, over the current Winter Schedule’s services. This will take the airline’s highest frequency destination increase further, from 18 to 25 flights per week. A key introduction of the additional services to Dubai will be the new nighttime service.
This will further enable Kuwait Airways to offer greater connectivity on its European and New York services — to Dubai via Kuwait — in both directions. The new Dubai flights will primarily deploy Kuwait Airways’ fleet of Airbus A320ceo aircraft, all of which come equipped with Wi-fiand the latest inflight entertainment, across all seating classes. An early morning Dubai–Kuwait service will now arrive in Kuwait at 7 am local time, which should prove popular with business travellers, commuting between these two key commercial centres, in the GCC region.
Commenting on the regional frequency increases, Kuwait Airways’ Director of Network Planning and Strategy, Shorouk Al Awadi, said: “Over the last decade, demand between Dubai and the major European and North American destinations has grown exponentially, with all regional carriers benefitting from the demand in traffic. This has been seen on both non-stop and one-stop services.” “With Kuwait Airways’ new Airbus A330-200 and Boeing 777-300ER aircraft now adding to the fleet already serving the airline’s highest frequency route, enhancements have been also been made to the connections on key international destinations. This means, that the official national carrier of Kuwait now offers a world-class, five-star product — in all cabin classes,” Al Awadi added. As one of the most popular tourism destinations in the Middle East, for both Kuwaitis and other Arab nationals, Beirut’s Mediterranean charms continue to delight and drive up load factors on this route.
To take advantage of this growing demand, from 26th March 2017, Kuwait Airways will expand its services to the Lebanese capital from a daily service to 10 times per week. Deploying A320ceo aircraft on this route, equipped with Wi-fiand the latest in-flight entertainment, across all classes, the new evening flight will also offer greater convenience for passengers looking to visit Beirut for short/weekend breaks. Bahrain has always been one of the popular business and weekend destinations for Kuwaitis, being one of the first Gulf States to have opened up to international commerce and regional tourism.
With a notable increase in demand for Bahrain-bound services, during the current Winter Season, the viability of increasing the frequencies to the island- Kingdom was duly recognised by Kuwait Airways’ commercial department.
This means that, from 26th March, the airline will increase its eight-times per week service to a twice daily service — a capacity increase of 75 per cent. Straddling two continents, Istanbul’s attraction as a gateway to two of the world’s prominent regional cultures continues to attract an ever-increasing number of passengers — either originating in or transferring through Kuwait.
This has largely been boosted by Turkey becoming a more affordable and accessible destination, in recent years. In the Winter Schedule 2016-2017, Kuwait Airways increased its non-stop Istanbul-Ataturk service to nine times per week; however, from the start of the IATA Summer Season, further increases will see this service rise to 12 times per week. Kuwait Airways’ fleet of Airbus A320ceo aircraft — again with Wi-fiand new in-flight entertainment systems — will primarily be deployed on this route.
The Istanbul Summer Season services will now offer a daily morning flight with evening flights operating on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. “Kuwait Airways’ revitalised efforts since the announcement of its Transformation Strategy, in September 2016, has been remarkable — with tangible results being felt and observed by all members of the travelling public,” Al Awadi continues.
“Our aim to become the preferred carrier of choice for Kuwaitis flying to the most popular destinations in the Middle East region has started to take shape, in just a short period of time. Our route performance analysis for the past few months has indicated which market segments are growing and we are now in a position to take the initiative — for the betterment of the airline and the country as a whole,” Al Awadi concluded. According to Kuwait Airways, further details relating to how the Summer Schedule changes will affect its Asian and European networks will follow shortly.