We reap fruits of partnership with private sector: Sheikh Salman
KUWAIT CITY, Sept 16, (KUNA): Chairman of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) Sheikh Salman Sabah Al- Sabah has projected that revenues of Kuwait’s International Airport (KWI)’s Terminal Four (T4) in its first five years of operation would reach KD 100 million (or $328 million). “Today we reap the fruits of the first DGCA partnership with the private sector,” Sheikh Salman said in a ceremony held on Sunday, referring to the deal signed with the Incheon International Airport Corporation (IIAC) of Korea to operate the new T4.
He pointed out that during the first year of T4 operation, which started on Aug 15, 2018, several positive things had been achieved, such as raising the building’s operation efficiency in accordance with international standards and improving the service provided to passengers especially punctuality which exceeded 90 percent.
He, moreover, stated that T4 operation had helped ease crowdedness at the Kuwait International Airport especially during the rush summer season when the traffic reached nearly six million passengers. Passenger traffic, this season, was distributed among the different terminals, mainly T4, which significantly reduced the burden on the main building this summer when over six million passengers used the airport, he said. Sheikh Salman unveiled that the government embarked on a comprehensive review of all laws and regulations with a view to revamping the national air transport sector.
This step would give the civil aviation directorate the opportunity to separate the operational side from the regulatory and legislative side and to exercise its responsibility as a regulatory authority on the air transport sector, he explained. He stated that the government was keen on modernizing the infrastructure of the air transport sector to help translate His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah’s directives to transform Kuwait into a financial and commercial hub. He hailed the successful operation of T4 in a record time as the design and construction of the building, which has a capacity of receiving 4.5 million passengers annually, were completed in only 21 months.
For his part, Kuwait Airways Chairman Yusuf Al-Jassem boasted that the punctuality rate of Kuwait Airways, the national carrier, after the operation of T4 had surged from 59 percent to 93 percent. Kuwait Airways had also ranked ninth among 175 European, Middle Eastern and African airlines and topped the list of Middle Eastern airlines in terms of punctuality rate, according to a report by the British travel intelligence company (OAG).
Furthermore, Kuwait Airways was granted a five star rating from the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) for 2019, he added. He noted that over four million passengers had used T4 during the period from Aug 15, 2018 to Aug 15, 2019. The new terminal was inaugurated on July 4, 2018 by His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah. But commercial flights started at T4 on Aug 15, 2018. The state-of-art facility is one of the concrete achievements on the path toward making Kuwait a regional business hub.
The 55,000-sq-m T4 has a capacity to accommodate some 4.5 million passengers per year. It provides jobs to 2,000 citizens and contributes with $60 million to annual state revenues. Contract for building T4 was signed by the civil aviation authority, in 2016, with the Turkish Genghis company and the Kuwaiti Al-Oula company at a value amounting to KD 52.89 million ($173.2 million).
The complex, built according to criteria of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), features stat-of-art designs, technology and security systems. Its construction has helped in balancing distribution of passengers among national air facilities, including Sheikh Saad airport (T3) and Al-Jazeera terminal (T5). The KAC was established in 1953 as a private aviation company. In 1962, the government acquired its entire stakes. It operates to 40 destinations worldwide.