Found in: Airlines of Kuwait
Kuwait Airways is the national
airline of Kuwait, based in Kuwait City and wholly owned by the Kuwaiti Government. It operates scheduled international services throughout the Middle East, to Europe, the Far East and North America. Its main base is Kuwait International Airport. Kuwait Airways is a member of the Arab Air Carriers Organization.
The airline was conceived in February 1953 by two Kuwaiti businessmen and was established in March 1954. It started operations on 16 March 1954 as Kuwait National Airways. The current name was established in 1958, and that year saw a modernization of the fleet. In the 1970s, the airline further expanded its routes to include flights within the Middle East.
The airline was heavily affected by the Gulf War with many planes having to leave due to the invasion. During the occupation, operations were transferred to Bahrain. The carrier, however, flew a free Kuwait Airways service on the Bombay-Bahrain-Cairo-London route in a modified livery with a Boeing 727. Bahrain served as operational headquarters during the occupation. The aftermath of the war saw a change in composition of fleet. In 2005, Kuwait Airways signed an agreement with Sabre Airline Solutions giving Kuwait Airways full access to a modernized planning and crew optimizing portfolio.
Kuwait Airways was the first airline created by an Arab state in the Persian Gulf and competes with neighboring airlines such as Qatar Airways and Emirates Airline.
In October 2007 the new CEO pledged that the airline should be privatised in order for it to compete efficiently against other airlines. He says that the airline will encounter difficulty in advancing, especially in fleet renewal, without the privatisation.
Hijackings in the 1980s
During the IranIraq War, Kuwait Airways was the target of two hijackings. The first was in 1984, when two Lebanese Shi'a gunmen diverted a flight to Tehran. The stand-off took six days but finally Iranian security officers dressed as staff overpowered the hijackers.
In April 1988 a Kuwait Airways Boeing 747 was hijacked and diverted to Algiers while on its way to Kuwait from Bangkok. The hijacking lasted 16 days and ended with a Kuwaiti firefighter being killed along with another Kuwaiti military person. This occurred when the plane stopped in Cyprus for two or three days, where the government of Cyprus was not able to save the two persons killed. Then it moved to Algeria where the hijacker's demands where satisfied and where the 110 remaining passengers were released.
see full article: Kuwait Airways destinations.
Beijing operated through Air China.
Athens operated through Olympic Airways.
Kiev operated through Ukraine International Airlines.
The Kuwait Airways fleet includes the following aircraft (as of May 2007):
On June 18 2007, ALAFCO, an aircraft leasing company co-owned by Kuwait Airways, confirmed that it would to buy 7 Airbus A320 and 12 Boeing 787-8. These aircraft will be leased to Kuwait Airways.
This order later fell through as the Kuwaiti Government refused to the approve the renewal. The new CEO says that he does not expect a renewal to occur until the airline is privatised.
http://www.kuwaitairways.com Kuwait Airways official webs