x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 22 November 2017

Kuwait's Wataniya Airways lines up 25-plane agreement

After resuming operations this year, carrier is looking to expand fleet and services with Airbus jetliners

Hamad Al Tuwaijri, the chairman of Golden Falcon Aviation, and Airbus' John Leahy, alongside Ali Al Fouzan, the chairman of Wataniya Airways. Courtesy Airbus
Hamad Al Tuwaijri, the chairman of Golden Falcon Aviation, and Airbus' John Leahy, alongside Ali Al Fouzan, the chairman of Wataniya Airways. Courtesy Airbus

Golden Falcon Aviation, the exclusive aircraft provider of Kuwait's Wataniya Airways, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for 25 Airbus A320neo aircraft.

The agreement was signed at the Dubai Airshow 2017 by Hamad Al Tuwaijri, the chairman of Golden Falcon Aviation, and John Leahy, the Airbus sales chief for commercial aircraft, alongside Ali Al Fouzan, the chairman of Wataniya Airways, which was founded in 2005.

"We are looking forward to upgrading and further enhancing our fleet," said Mr Al Fouzan.

"The A320neo will offer our customers the most comfortable and modern cabins with 18-inch wide seats whilst ensuring profitability and efficiency. The addition of the aircraft will enable us to further strengthen our network as we continue to serve our valued customers”.

Due to overcapacity on some flights, the airline decided in December 2010 to reduce operation, park three aircraft, and lay off some employees.

On 16 March 2011, Wataniya ceased all its operations.

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In August 2016, it was announced that the airline was considering restarting services and it resumed operations in July this year. It currently operates two A320ceo aircraft serving several destinations in the Middle East and Europe from its home base in Kuwait.

The A320neo will contribute to the airline’s strategic vision to become the fastest growing and leading airline in the country, the carrier said.

“This new order of 25 A320neo aircraft demonstrates the confidence in our leading single-aisle aircraft. Its operational efficiency and unrivalled passenger comfort make it the perfect choice for Wataniya fleet expansion and growth plans," Mr Leahy added.

The A320neo incorporates technologies including new generation engines and Sharklets, a specialised wingtip, which together deliver at least 15 percent fuel savings at delivery and 20 per cent by 2020, Airbus says. With more than 5,200 orders received from 95 customers since its launch in 2010, the A320neo has captured nearly 60 per cent of the market.