Kuwait Airways (KAC) received the first of plane of a batch of A320neo aircraft from the European multinational aircraft manufacturer Airbus at a ceremony held in Hamburg city, north Germany on Friday. The ceremony gathered KAC Board Chairman Youssef Al-Jassem, head of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) Youssef Al-Fawzan, Director General of Airbus Middle East Fuad Al-Attar and Kuwait Ambassador to Germany Najib Al-Badr.
Speaking on the sidelines of the function, Kuwait Airways Board Chairman Youssef Al-Jassem stated that the first Airbus 320neo plane is an important moment in the company’s history.
He added that he was really happy to have received the aircraft which was equipped with state-of-art technology and fuel-saving efficiency. He pointed out that the delivery of the A320neo, named Kazma, followed the “recovery of His Highness the Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah from a health setback.
Al-Jassem said the A320neo would mark the start of delivery of a total of 28 Airbus up until 2026, which would join the already operational 10 Boeing 777-333 ER aircraft.
“We are witnessing leaps in numbers of passengers, and we expect the number to be around five million passengers by end of this year …,” he added.
Al-Jassem said the development of Kuwait Airways fleet was in line with the company’s strategy to provide the best services for the passengers. Director General of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) Youssef Al-Fawzan said DGCA would facilitate operation of Kazma as soon as possible.
Speaking to local media, Al-Fawzan a team from DGCA’s safety and legal departments was in Hamburg to verify delivery documents of the aircraft.
Kuwait Ambassador to Germany Najib Al-Bader said the Foreign Ministry was keen on supporting national companies. He added that he was happy with the upgrade of Kuwait Airways fleet, and the new plane would certainly contribute to better aviation services between Kuwait and Germany. Director General of Airbus Middle East Fuad Al-Attar, in a keynote speech, said the delivery of the airplanes would further strengthen cooperation and relations between the two sides. The delivery of A320neo, he added, marked the 65th anniversary of Kuwait Airways.
The jetliner, called Kazma, arrived in Kuwait on Saturday to join the fleet of Kuwait’s flag carrier. Seating 134 passengers, this jetliner is the first of 15 A320neo aircraft that will join KAC’s fleet in addition to 13 aircraft of other Airbus versions. As part of a plan to modernize its fleet, KAC signed a contract with Airbus on December 2, 2013 to acquire 15 A320neo and 10 A350 XWB aircraft, in addition to leasing 12 planes of A320neo and A330 types pending the delivery of the new planes.
On 15 October, 2018, KAC signed a new contract with Airbus to acquire eight jetliners of A330-800 type, which has a capacity of 220 to 260 passengers. KAC’s modernization plan will culminate in the expansion of its new fleet to 38 jetliners in 2026.