Move to handle 25 mln passengers a year
KUWAIT CITY, Feb 28: A support terminal, which was originally scheduled to open at the beginning of last year but experienced delays, will be used exclusively by Kuwait Airways until Terminal 2 is completed, says Gulf Business News quoting Kuwait Airways CEO. The delayed KD 52.89m ($176.3m) terminal that spans an area of 55,000 square meters with nine gates and 2,450 parking spaces, and intended as a temporary solution to congestion at Kuwait International Airport, will open in June.
Plans for the new facility, which will increase capacity of the airport from five million to 10 million passengers a year, were first announced in October 2015 when it became clear the airport would need extra capacity ahead of the opening of another $4.3bn passenger terminal. Construction of the larger Terminal 2 began last May, and if completed, it will handle 25 million passengers a year.
Kuwait Airways Company CEO Ibrahim Al-Khuzam confirmed the June opening to state news agency KUNA, and said the government-backed airline would need a “comprehensive change in its facilities to return to competition and profits”. Al-Khuzam who took the helm of the loss-making government airline in May 2017 has since drawn up a strategy focusing on the commercial sector to return to growth.
He indicated “constraints at Kuwait International were among the factors holding back the plans at present, and that the airport was designed with a current capacity for four million passengers a year but was serving 14 million. Kuwait Airways will launch new routes to Tbilisi, Georgia, and Trabzon in Turkey over the summer, and it’s considering measures to reduce costs, Al-Khuzam added.