Kuwait Airways has received four new leased planes as the first instalment of 12 aircraft ordered in total, Kuwait Times has reported. The Airbus A320 aircraft are expected to be in operation within five days and are the first upgrade to its fleet in 17 years.
Kuwait Airways has not received a new plane – leased or bought – since 1998 and the average age of its existing fleet is nearly 20 years.
Under Rasha Al Roumi, who was appointed CEO in December, 2013, of the government-owned carrier, has signed a deal with Airbus to purchase 10 new A350-900s and 15 A320neos, with deliveries to start in 2019 or 2020. It is leasing aircraft in the meantime.
Upgrading the entire fleet – the oldest in the region – is expected to save tens of millions on maintenance each year, as well as improve the airline’s fuel efficiency, reliability, staffing requirements and appeal as it attempts to win back public support.
Kuwait Airways had just 14 percent of the local customer base in 2013.