60 years of KUWAIT AIRWAYS

February 1, 20153 Comments

KuwaitAirwvvvaysOn the wave of the oil boom of the 1940s, a national carrier was born in 1954. Initially, Kuwait Airways Company served a limited network of Abadan, Beirut, Damascus and Jerusalem but a year later the fledgling carrier was facing economic hardship, and the government of Kuwait took a 50% interest in the airline, subsequently doubling the company’s capital. Having entered the rough and tumble world of aviation, the government finally took out 100% share in Kuwait Airways.

Kuwait Airways entered the jet age in 1962 by leasing a Comet 4-C, the world’s first jet-engined airliner. In the 1960s, the national carrier rapidly expanded its route map, and scheduled services to London begun three times a week. To keep pace with fast-moving aviation needs, three Boeing 707s were delivered in 1968. Ten years later, Kuwait Airways had an all -Boeing 707 fleet of eight aircraft.

In 1978, Kuwait Airways entered the wide-body age by taking delivery of its first two B747-200s, adding a third the following year. This expansion permitted Kuwait Airways to extend its network to New York to the west and Manila to the east.

Modernization of the fleet continued, and four B727-200s were delivered in 1980-1981. Two years later eight Airbus A310s and A300-600s were delivered, and in 1986 three Boeing 767-200ER aircraft joined the wide-body fleet.

Following the destruction of its premises and 15 of its aircraft during the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, the airline was relaunched. Kuwait Airways fleet now comprises three A320-200s, three A310-300s, five A300-605Rs, four A340-300s and two Boeing B777s, bringing the fleet to 17 aircraft, equipped with the latest entertainment systems.kkkkntitled

Kuwait Airways aims to re-establish its network to reach more than 46 countries around the globe with a firm commitment to providing the finest service and comfort to passengers while continuing to rank safety as one of highest priorities.

1990 Iraqi Invasion and Aftermath

Kuwait was invaded by Iraq on August 2, 1990. In the seven months that followed, notes Airliner World, more than 85 percent of KAC’s assets were destroyed or stolen. Company director-general Ahmad al-Zabin told the Financial Times the airline suffered $1.6 billion in losses due to damage to its fleet, computer reservations system, and lost revenues.

A dozen of the airline’s 20 planes, and another three owned by the Kuwaiti government, were seized by Iraq. Several of these planes were destroyed in the war. The Iraqis also absconded with KAC’s entire $150 million spare parts inventory, reported the Financial Times. Six of its Airbuses were flown to Iran during the occupation. KAC filed an insurance claim for $694 million for loss of the planes; however, Lloyd’s of London limited its payout to $300 million, its maximum for a single event. Litigation against Iraq’s national airline, which had repainted seized planes in its own colors, stretched on for years.

  • Key Dates:
  • 1954: Kuwait National Airway Company (KNAC) is formed.
  • 1955: The company is renamed Kuwait Airways Corporation (KAC) as the government acquires a half interest.
  • 1962: The Kuwaiti government buys the remainder of KAC’s shares; the first jets enter the fleet.
  • 1978: KAC receives its first Boeing 747 jumbo jet.
  • 1983: Airbus jets replace Boeings in the short- and medium-range fleet.
  • 1990: Most of KAC’s assets are lost in the Iraqi invasion; operations continue from the Cairo base.
  • 1995: The Oasis frequent flyer club is introduced.
  • 2004: KAC is being restructured in preparation for privatization.

Additional Details

  • State-Owned Company
  • Incorporated: 1954 as Kuwait National Airways Company
  • Employees: 5,044
  • Sales: KWD 215.96 million ($732.8 million) (2004)
  • NAIC: 481111 Scheduled Passenger Air Transportation; 481112 Scheduled Freight Air Transportation; 488119 Other Airport Operations; 488190 Other Support Activities for Air Transportation; 722320 Caterers; 722213 Snack and Nonalcoholic Beverage Bars

Sources : Ref of the Biz & Kuwait Airways


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60 years of KUWAIT AIRWAYS was last modified: by

Comments (3)

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  1. Insha Allah. hope for good we'll soon fly to Hyderabad.

  2. It will great flying from Kuwait to Hyd-bad by Kuwait airways like before hope to fly very soon

  3. We are condomnly requesting to operate flights to Hyderabad also

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