TOULOUSE: Kuwait Airways’ Chairman Yousef Al-Jassem and Airbus’ Chief Operations Officer Christian Shearer seal a deal to purchase eight aircraft from the Airbus A330-800neo family yesterday. — KUNA

TOULOUSE, France: Kuwait Airways Chairman Yousef Al-Jassem announced that the national carrier signed yesterday an agreement to purchase eight A330-800neo medium-to-long-range Airbus aircraft. These planes are characterized with operational and economic efficiency compared to aircraft of the same category. The agreement came in implementation of the national carrier’s strategic plan and to enhance its operational capabilities through its fleet.

Kuwait Airways is considered one of the first carriers in the world to approve such modern planes for its fleet. According to this agreement, Kuwait Airways managed to reduce the capital costs of the fleet in its new combination, not to mention the lower operational costs for the aircraft. Signing this agreement came as the culmination of extended negotiations between Airbus representatives and Kuwait Airways during the past five months.

Accordingly, Kuwait Airways fleet will be composed of 38 aircraft for achieving flexible operations through long-, medium- and short-range planes – five A350-900 Airbuses; Eight A330-800neo Airbuses; 15 A320neo Airbuses and 10 B777 -300ER Boeings. The new Airbus aircraft will be received according to a time plan that stretches from 2019 till the end of 2026. The new planes will replace the currently leased aircraft as per the time schedule agreed upon.

On the newly-opened terminal at Kuwait International Airport, Jassem told KUNA that Kuwait’s flag carrier will launch flights to Europe out of the terminal from next week, followed by other destinations in the Indian subcontinent and Asia Pacific, in addition to Iran and the United States. He added that the new terminal solely serves the national carrier, thanking the Kuwaiti government for its steadfast support over the years.

Airbus’ Chief Operations Officer Christian Shearer hailed the deal as a productive endeavor that will bring both sides closer together, acknowledging Kuwait Airways as among the most reputable airlines in the world. He added that Airbus’ relationship with Kuwait Airways dates back years, hoping that the deal will be a launch pad for closer ties. – Agencies