Buoyed by a healthy load factor between India and Kuwait, Kuwait Airways is looking at enhancing the seat capacity. In India, the airline has Interline agreements with most of the major carriers.
“India is a very important market and it stands at the top of our strategy. The focus is to be the main service provider and reach out to more destinations. India is also important for Kuwaitis as a tourism destination, especially for medical tourism. We witness very healthy load factors from India to Kuwait. The only issue is the capacity, we need to enhance it. There are no seats available for many seasons,” Amin Alhaimy, Director-Sales, Kuwait Airways, said.
Both the Kuwait and Indian governments are in talks to further increase the seats. Currently, Kuwait Airways flies 49 flights a week to seven destinations in India.
“We now have very little capacity to increase seats in India. We are actually operating less than what we use to earlier, after it was decided that we have to share the capacity with other airlines. We have made the point and talks are on between both the governments and Civil Aviation Authorities to try and increase capacity. We are trying to team up with all airlines. We have agreement with Air India, Vistara, and we also in communication with IndiGo. We are trying to work with Indian airlines via such interline agreements,” he added.
The airline has recently undergone a major transformation in terms of technology and software. “Kuwait Airways is in the final stages of undergoing a total transformation, which was really important. This decision was taken up from the government level that the carrier needs to adapt the new era of aviation in the region. We have changed all the IT, software, processes to become more than a fast developing airline. We recently launched a new onboard entertainment system by doubling the content we offer. This year, for the summer, we are opening Malaga, Nice, Larnaca, Baku, Tbilisi and many other new destinations. Guangzhou is planned for later this year. We have big plans for Indian market. There is a community of over a million working in Kuwait and they are very important for us and we want to serve them better,” Alhaimy informed.
In terms of fleet enhancement, the airline has placed order A350 aircrafts and expects to receive it in the next couple of years. “We are now operating on a totally new fleet. It’s the youngest fleet average age in the region. We are receiving additional six aircrafts this year and more aircrafts in the coming year. We are also opening new destinations wherever there is business. This year, we are getting A320s, next year we will get A320s and A330-800. In a couple of years, we will get our first A350,” he added.
The traffic from India to Kuwait is 70 per cent point to point and 30 per cent is beyond Kuwait. Tourism also has now started picking up in Kuwait and the airline is also looking to grow these numbers. “In our strategy, we have decided that Kuwait Airways must become more than just a local airline. Our plan is to be a global airline. As of now Kuwait is slowly opening up for tourism, we want to promote tourism and attract more travellers. We do carry a lot of tourists from India, but majorly points beyond Kuwait,” he said.