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Kuwait Airways Seeks Aircraft Leasing Options Amid Airbus Delivery Delays


  • Kuwait Airways is facing Airbus aircraft delivery delays, leading them to explore leasing additional aircraft for 12 years to meet capacity goals.
  • The airline aims to expand its fleet to 50 aircraft by 2030 and double its destinations to 100 by 2025.
  • Despite a net loss in 2022, Kuwait Airways has seen a 30% growth in passenger revenue in the first half of 2023 and aims to return to profitability by 2025.

Kuwait Airways is looking to lease additional aircraft for a period of 12 years, according to a report by Reuters. The news comes as the flag carrier Kuwait is reported to face some Airbus aircraft delivery delays.

Meeting capacity goals

As Kuwait Airways continues to expand its route network, it encounters capacity challenges, for which the airline needs more aircraft. As part of its restructuring, the airline aims to carry 5.5 million passengers by 2025. And for that, the airline also needs more aircraft.

In February 2022, Kuwait Airways finalized its agreement with Airbus to acquire 31 jets, estimated to be worth $3 billion. The airline’s order book included nine Airbus A320neos, seven Airbus A330-900s, six Airbus A321neos, four Airbus A330-800s, three Airbus A321LRs, and two Airbus A350-900 widebodies. All jets were scheduled to be delivered by 2028.

A Kuwait Airways Boeing 777 taking off.

Photo: Vytautas Kielaitis/Shutterstock

While 18 aircraft have already been delivered, there are indications that other deliveries will face a delay of 12 months. While discussing the issue with Airbus, the airline is also exploring leasing six to eight aircraft, as mentioned in the report. However, the aircraft type under consideration for the lease has yet to be indicated. In an interview, the airline’s chief executive Maen Razouqi told Reuters:

“We don’t get into disagreements. The reality is that there are financial obligations that must be borne by the party responsible for the delay. This is part of our restructuring discussions- that the financial obligations should be based on payments or credits… offset for the delay.”

Growth ahead

Kuwait Airways is plotting some significant growth from its current fleet of airplanes. By 2030, the airline has set a target to expand its fleet to 50 aircraft. Currently, Kuwait Airways has a total of 32 aircraft in its fleet at an average age of 5.6 years old, according to The fleet comprises 15 A320s, seven A330s, and ten Boeing 777-300ER widebodies.

The airline’s extensive route network covers destinations in Europe, the Indian Sub-Continent, the Far East, North America, the Middle East, and Africa, currently serving 58 destinations. However, Kuwait’s flag carrier has ambitious plans to double its destinations to 100 by 2025.

A Kuwait Airways Airbus A330neos parked at their gates.

Photo: Airbus

Furthermore, Kuwait Airways aims to return to profitability by 2025. After recording a net loss of $178 million in 2022, the airline has made significant progress, with a recent announcement revealing a 30% growth in passenger revenue during the first half of 2023. In the statement, Razouqi said:

“Kuwait Airways has recently launched 13 new destinations for the summer season, bringing the total number of destinations to 58 direct destinations and more than 105 daily flights, in addition to 95 destinations via codeshare.”

The airline also aims to introduce six new destinations in the winter season, including Washington DC, Barcelona, Taif, Athens, Izmir, and Shiraz.

Sources: Reuters,


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