KUWAIT CITY, Dec 9: Kuwait Airways, the official national carrier of the State of Kuwait, has today confirmed that the first of 10 ordered Boeing 777-300ER aircraft has arrived in Kuwait, landing at Kuwait International Airport (KWI) at 3:00 pm local time.
Following on from the aircraft’s reveal in October, at Boeing’s factory in Everett, near Seattle; the aircraft, sporting the new livery and branding of Kuwait’s official national carrier, was provided a water canon salute and welcomed by a delegation from the airline, headed by Rasha Al Roumi, Chairperson & CEO, and Kamil Al Awadhi, Deputy CEO. Dignitaries also present included, Kuwaiti Minister of State for Housing Affairs, HE Yasser Hassan Abul; US Ambassador to Kuwait, HE Lawrence R. Silverman; and President of the DGCA, HE Sheikh Mubarak Salim Al Sabah, as well as other senior officials.
Arriving as a non-commercial, non-stop flight from Boeing’s factory to Kuwait, the Boeing 777- 300ER will now undergo some regional flight tests, before entering full commercial service within weeks. It is understood that the aircraft’s maiden commercial flight and route will be to London, although the exact dates will be revealed in a later announcement. The delivery of the Boeing 777- 300ER, bearing the airline’s new look livery, represents another positive step forward for the Arabian Gulf-based airline, in support of its previously announced five-year transformation strategy, in September this year.
The essence of the plan being: To restore pride in the Gulf region’s longest serving, one-state airline, and reassert its pioneering legacy in the regional aviation sector. In the medium to long-term, the transformation strategy also includes the addition of 10 A350 and 15 A320neo aircraft; with a number of the latter already having entered service with the airline.
In the short term, the acquisition of the 10 Boeing 777-300ER aircraft will play an immediate role in enhancing the inflight experience for passengers. It will also take the airline’s operational capacity to new levels, on key routes within the official national carrier’s current number of 37 international destinations. Ultimately, the “ER” or “extended range” element of these aircraft will allow Kuwait Airways to explore the possibilities of adding more long-haul routes to its network, in the future; further supporting the airline’s ambitions to grow the number of destinations it serves. “As part of Kuwait Airways’ five-year transformation strategy, we are pleased to welcome the arrival of the first of 10 Boeing 777- 300ER aircraft into our fleet,” said Rasha Al Roumi, Chairperson and CEO of Kuwait Airways. “Such acquisitions will be instrumental in the airline’s future growth plans and today’s delivery represents one of the first steps towards achieving our stated aim of having the youngest commercial airline fleet in the world, by 2021.”
According to the airline’s senior management, the transformation taking place across the airline is not limited to just “cosmetic” or “product” (aircraft) changes; it is described as a comprehensive approach that seeks to deliver on all areas of “operational, commercial and service excellence”.