Kuwait Airways – the national carrier of Kuwait – was founded in 1954 and today operates a small fleet of 30 aircraft serving more than 50 destinations in the Far East, Indian Sub-Continent, Middle East, Europe, and North America. Business Class is offered on all flights but expect major differences in seat designs depending on which aircraft type is operating.
The Kuwait Airways fleet consists of Airbus A320-200, A320neo, A330-200, A330-800neo and Boeing B777-300ER aircraft offering a range of Royal Class (First Class), Business Class, Premium Economy , and Economy Class. Kuwait Airways is one of few dry airlines in the world – meaning that no alcohol is served onboard.
Kuwait Airways is not part of an airline alliance, but the carrier has codeshare agreements with a handful of other airlines and offers interlining with several dozen airlines, allowing passengers the check their bags and receive boarding passes for all flights even if two or more carriers are involved on the same itinerary.
The Oasis Club program for frequent flyers is eligible to travellers over the age of 2 who earn 50% of the miles flown, while children over 12 earn the full benefits. Business Class travel will earn two times the benefits (200%) of the miles flown and help qualify for the next level of benefits - Oasis Silver – which includes extra baggage allowance, dedicated check-in and pre-boarding. Benefits increase through the Gold and Platinum memberships.
Kuwait International Airport is a 15-minute, ten-mile (16 kilometres) car journey from Kuwait City centre. In line with local laws and regulations, it is not permitted to carry alcohol anywhere within the airport.
Kuwait Airways has dedicated and exclusive use of Terminal 4, offering travellers a streamlined pre-boarding and boarding experience. Business Class passengers have a dedicated premium check-in area. Business Class passengers have exclusive access to the well-appointed Bayan Lounge opposite gate D8, which provides deep, comfortable seating, Wi-Fi, internet terminals, flight monitors, and international cuisine – catering to most passengers' tastes.
Business Class travellers also have access to the Al-Mubarakiya Lounge located by gate B5, providing travellers with comfortable seating, refreshments and beverages, luggage storage and workstations.
Maraheb (which translates as “hello” in Arabic) agents provide exclusive meet & greet services for passengers desiring faster transition through arrivals and departures, subject to a surcharge.
The airport has a good selection of shops in the Commercial Centre next to the Arrivals Hall and includes – duty-free items, clothing, books, and jewellery – but no alcohol. Secure luggage wrapping is available 24 hours a day from several locations.
Kuwait Airways has a small fleet of thirty aircraft, with long-haul flights operated by Airbus A330-200, A330-800neo and the flagship Boeing 777-300ER jets. By far the best Business Class seats can be found on the couple of A330-800neo aircraft, which joined the fleet in late 2020. Kuwait Airways was the launch customer of the Airbus A330-800neo, making them the first airline to operate the type starting in November 2020.
The Kuwait Airways A330-800neo Business Class features 32 fully-flat Business Class beds in a 1-2-1 reverse herringbone configuration over eight rows in two cabins. Seats have a pitch of 62 inches (157 centimetres) and a width of 21 inches (53 centimetres). The interior is sleek and modern. All seats come with a USB port and power sockets for passenger convenience.
The longest and most premium routes are operated by a fleet of ten Boeing 777-300ER. While they each feature eight luxurious Royal Class (First Class) suites with sliding doors, Business Class comes in a disappointing 2-2-2 layout. 36 Collins Aerospace Super Diamond seats are split into two cabins separated by the Business Class galley. The forward Business Class cabin is configured with just two rows and offers a somewhat more intimate experience due to the smaller size of the cabin. The Boeing 777-300ER seats are in a slightly angled formation. The flat beds have a total length of 76 inches (193 centimetres) and the same sized pitch. The seat width is 22 inches (56 centimetres). Taller travellers may find the flattened length restrictive.
A permanent privacy screen divides the two seats, though it is low enough to chat to your travel companion if you desire and high enough to provide adequate privacy when the seat is fully flattened. A storage area behind the seat contains power outlets, a USB port, and a headphone jack. Storage space may be slightly smaller than compared to some other carriers. Easy to use seat controls are located on the centre armrest, and a half-opened or fully-flat tray table is concealed neatly into the armrest.
The A330-200s primarily serve medium-haul routes and offer 30 Business Class seats in a 2-2-2 forward-facing formation. Seats are angled-flat which may not be ideal for long flights, but the comfortable enough for most people to relax on shorter flights.
Blankets and pillows are provided along with warm hand towels.
All meals are served on trays placed on linen-lined tables. Main meals entrées come with three options, a side salad and a selection of warm rolls, bread, and butter. While meals are tasty and generously sized, there is room for improvement when it comes to presentation.
Passengers can select from meat, poultry, and fish options – such as chicken stuffed with spinach and ricotta, lamb biryani or fisherman's delight. Special meals can be ordered at the time of booking and include – vegetarian options, low-calorie dishes, dairy-free, Jain, Hindu, diabetic, lactose-free and children's meals.
Dessert options may include fresh fruit, a cheese platter, cake, and ice cream.
All meals are halal certified.
Kuwait Airways is a dry airline, and alcohol is not served or permitted to be consumed during the flight regardless of destination.
As with most Gulf-based airlines, dates and Arabic coffee is served in a decorative cup before departure. Once in the air, the meal service is preceded by drinks and mixed nuts.
While alcohol is missing from the beverage menu on all dry airlines, some make an effort to compensate for this by offering an impressive choice of non-alcoholic beverages. Sadly, the beverage offering in Kuwait Airways Business Class is quite basic.
Juices include orange, pineapple mango and tomato. Soft drinks include regular and diet colas, Sprite, Fanta, and ginger ale.
Hot beverages include Espresso, cappuccino, and latte. Choose from Arabic, Gold Blend and decaffeinated coffees, or a choice of four teas.
Crew members are polite, friendly, and welcoming. A mixture of local and multi-national male and female cabin staff, they are attentive to passenger needs and conduct themselves professionally and capably, showing pride in their work and aircraft.
Cabin staff stay out of sight during the low-light periods of long-haul flights; however, they quickly respond to call buttons with no fuss or outward frustration.
Each seat has a Panasonic eX3 touch-screen entertainment system for movies, music, games, flight map information, and a live-feed camera view from outside the aircraft. Headsets are presented at the commencement of the flight in luxurious velvet pouches.
The on-demand entertainment package includes a wide selection of the latest blockbuster releases from Hollywood and Arabic films, television, and video for all ages and preferences. A wide range of music options is offered, from genre-specific tastes to entire albums. Magazines and newspapers are also complimentary to Business class travellers. Children have access to games and a dedicated on-demand entertainment channel.
Wi-Fi is available on all Kuwait Airways aircraft, subject to fees based on duration.
French fashion designed Christian Lacroix amenity bags are dispensed to Business Class passengers and contain a good selection of mostly Allies of Skin branded products. These include a hairbrush, toothbrush, a compact mirror, a pair of socks, an eye mask, earplugs, and essential items such as toothpaste, deodorant, lip balm and body lotion.
Business Class lavatories come equipped with sealed packs of essential amenities – toothbrush and toothpaste.
Bassinets are available for children less than two years of age in the front row of Business Class seating.
Airbus A320neos make up nearly half of the Kuwait Airways fleet, and this aircraft is capable of both short and medium-haul travel with a range of almost 7000 kilometres (4350 miles). These aircraft do not come with a flat bed. However, the airline's flagship Boeing 777-300ERs are used on some premier short-haul destinations such as Cairo. With a flight time of fewer than 3 hours from Kuwait International Airport, passengers will have all the refinement that comes with this aircraft, although food and beverage choices may differ due to the shortness of the flight times.
While the Airbus A320 fleet doesn't offer fully-reclining seats. However, the pitch of 38 – 39 inches (99 centimetres), with a width of 21 inches (53 centimetres) and 5 inches (12 centimetres) recline angle offers more comfort and space than the standard economy class option, which has a narrower seat, far less legroom and a minimal recline.
The entire fleet of 30 Kuwait Airways aircraft is no older than five years old, with additional modern fuel-efficient aircraft on order. The Airbus A320neo and A330neos are among the world's most fuel-efficient passenger aircraft – the A330neo becoming the first airliner to receive certification under the ICAO Co2 standard for emissions.
On the ground, Kuwait Airways launched a humanitarian project, 'BALSAM' with the Kuwait Red Crescent Society (a member of the International Red Cross) to provide relief for the less privileged. The 'BALSAM' initiative encourages passengers to donate currency, which is used for universal humanitarian and charitable causes. All aircraft carry special envelopes encouraging passengers to contribute towards the cause.
Kuwait Airways also supports the Omniya Project for plastic bottle recycling and reducing environmental pollution by distributing recycling containers in different areas of Kuwait and raising awareness of plastic waste.
Community initiatives include supporting educational settings with modern equipment and equipping medical facilities to the latest international certified standards, in accordance with the World Health Organization.