Kuwaiti Airways signed a tentative agreement on Monday to buy 25 new Airbus aircraft for $4.4 billion, the carrier's first major overhaul since the 1990 Iraqi invasion into Kuwait.
The national airline of Kuwait plans to receive 10 A350-900 and 15 medium-haul A320neo jets, said an Airbus statement.
“It’s great to see our long-standing customer Kuwait Airways building its future with our newest, most efficient aircraft families,” said John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer, Customers. “In choosing the A320neo and A350 XWB, Kuwait Airways will offer its passengers the industry’s best-in-class cabin experience on both long- and short-haul routes, flying them comfortably in the widest seats in all classes.”
The airline was still operating its Airbus A310-300 and Airbus A320-200, which they have flown since before the Iraqi invasion in which 10 aircraft were stolen by Iraqi forces before being transported to Iran. Six were destroyed by Iraqi forces, but Iran managed to return the remaining four after the war, and almost one year ago a court in London settled a dispute that meant Kuwaiti Airways received $500 million to compensate for the losses, around half of what they demanded.
“The Airbus Family is the ideal choice for an airline like ours,” said Kuwait Airways acting chairman Jassar Al Jassar. “The A350-900 will strengthen our long-haul route development whilst the A320neo will further boost our regional route network. These aircraft are an essential part of our ambitious growth plans.”