Kuwait Airways (KA.UL) is charting a course to lease eight Airbus passenger jets over the next 10 years, as confirmed by Chairman Ali Aldokhan on Sunday.
The national carrier, owned by the state, is currently evaluating proposals from various leasing companies. The intended lease duration for these aircraft, all Airbus 321 neo models, is projected to span between eight and 10 years, as unveiled during a news conference by Aldokhan.
This initiative to secure eight leased planes is a supplementary effort to Kuwait Airways’ significant deal with Airbus in 2022. This prior agreement involved the purchase of 31 aircraft, out of which 18 have already been delivered and incorporated into the airline’s fleet.
Despite the severe impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the global aviation industry, Gulf carriers, including Kuwait Airways, have witnessed a rapid resurgence in passenger demand. These airlines have become pivotal in their respective governments’ initiatives to diversify economic sectors like tourism and boost national economies.
Against a backdrop of rising operational costs, Kuwait Airways has encountered a 38% year-on-year increase in jet fuel expenses since the onset of 2023. Aldokhan acknowledged this challenge, highlighting the need to address this financial burden.
Engagements with Kuwait Petroleum Corporation are underway to negotiate a discounted mechanism, aiming to alleviate the pressure of escalating jet fuel costs for the airline. This endeavor signifies Kuwait Airways’ proactive stance in addressing operational challenges and enhancing cost-efficiency.
As the airline industry continues to navigate fluctuations, Kuwait Airways’ strategic decisions underscore its commitment to sustainable growth and adaptability. The prospective leasing of Airbus aircraft showcases the carrier’s dedication to enhancing its fleet capabilities and providing top-tier services to passengers.