By Ahmed Hagagy
KUWAIT CITY (Reuters) – Kuwait Airways plans to lease eight Airbus passenger jets within 10 years, Chairman Ali Aldokhan said on Sunday.
The state-owned carrier is examining offers from leasing companies, and the contract duration for the leased planes, all Airbus 321 neo aircraft, will be between eight and 10 years, Aldokhan told a news conference.
The plan to lease eight planes is in addition to Kuwait Airways’ multi-billion dollar deal with Airbus in 2022 to buy 31 planes, 18 of which it has already received.
While airlines globally were hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, many Gulf carriers have seen a swift pickup in demand and are key players in their governments’ drive to diversify their economies into sectors such as tourism.
The cost of jet fuel for Kuwait Airways has increased 38% year-on-year since the beginning of 2023, Aldokhan said.
Kuwait Airways is in negotiations with Kuwait Petroleum Corporation on a discount mechanism to reduce the airline’s jet fuel costs, CEO Maen Razouqi told the same press conference.
(Reporting by Ahmed Hagagy; Writing by Adam Makary and Tala Ramadan; Editing by David Goodman and Susan Fenton)