Kuwait Airways Corp is readying a new first-class cabin for its Boeing 777 aircraft as it seeks to catch up with the luxury offerings of its Gulf rivals.
The new product will be based on the “suite principle” and give passengers greater privacy and comfort, Chief Commercial Officer Philip Saunders said in an interview at the Bahrain air show. It will be introduced in November on routes to New York and London, as well as to other European destinations.
“Expect to see something far more in line with, if not better than, what’s offered on a regional basis,” Saunders said. “It’s a very significant investment.”
Kuwait Air is trying to keep up with regional peers in pampering first-class passengers. Dubai-based Emirates is developing a new cabin focused on privacy while Qatar Airways is working on a “super premium” seat that it plans to patent and roll out in its wide-body planes. Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways has introduced the Residence with three rooms and a dedicated butler.
Kuwait Air’s new product won’t be exactly the same as those of its regional competitors, Saunders said.
“We want to make sure the airline is able to compete with all of our neighbors and there’s no need to go via a third point when Kuwait Air can take you to the majority of key destinations in comfort and in a good schedule,” he said. “This won’t happen overnight, this is a program over the next few years.”
Kuwait Air is rebounding after a restructuring plan that helped cut losses, Saunders said. The state-owned airline competes on short-haul routes with Jazeera Airways.