Do you indulge in a regular travelling fix to beat the Kuwait blues? Are you trekking far and wide for the summer or hopping to Europe? How often do you take the road out of Kuwait? What feelings do you experience as you walk onto that aircraft and just hit the sky?
To any of us, the feeling of leaving Kuwait is often one of exhilaration. We plan, book, dream of those destinations that help us escape and reset our mental hard-drive.
Sandwiched between Iraq and Saudi, Kuwait doesn’t necessarily offer the most diverse or attractive land routes. However the air map is growing by the day and you will no doubt have noticed a flurry of offers and new routes to and from a multitude of destinations from Kuwait’s relatively small and user-friendly airport.
Surprisingly, despite the size and capacity of the airport, the sky map is expanding beyond recognition as airlines compete for a bigger chunk of the Kuwaiti market.
The airline with the biggest ambition is the national carrier. Kuwait Airways is undergoing something of a Revolution. Since the creation of the airline, it has gone through hard times which has resulted in a mixed reputation, an aged fleet and a relatively small destination offer.
But the airline is undergoing huge changes that are affecting us all. The introduction of a brand new fleet, of which many leased aircrafts, is proving a huge success. Slick, modern, with the latest entertainment systems, travelling to Europe, the US and Asia could not be more comfortable. Many destinations also offer opportunities to upgrade to what is traditionally business class cabin (known a J cabin).
The destination map is also changing by the day. Kuwait Airways flies already to Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Bangkok, Frankfurt, Munich, Vienna, Geneva, Roma, London and New York. That’s not mentioning the more local routes such as Beirut, Manama, Riyadh, Daman or Teheran.
Given the increased security restrictions in Europe, Kuwait is fast positioning itself as a regional hub for travel and a mid-way point for Asia to US travel.
Kuwait Airways chairperson Rasha Abdelaziz Al Roumi has also announced a plan to reduce transit routes, enabling passengers to travel easier.
Kuwait Airways received received the “on-time performance” award for the “most improved Airline Operating at Dubai Airports” for 2015.
Kuwait Airlines is not sitting idle as competitors flex their wings.
KAC is going after the British market with renewed energy. As of November, the airline plans to have have several flights a day to London Heathrow, coinciding for example with the Kuwaiti week-end and enabling passengers to travel early on Thursday, arriving in London by early afternoon. Return schedules will include several flights on a Sunday, enabling passengers to hop onto a comfortable overnight and hop off and go straight to work on Sunday.
Another welcome chapter of this mini revolution is the enhanced security at the airport which is going hand in hand with the ambitions of the national carrier and government to become a regional transport hub.
Finally another welcome addition is the introduction of special deals and a points system which offers above and beyond what competitor airlines do. The Oasis club allows families to pool their points. There are now many partners to the scheme. You can cumulate points earned at the Sultan Centre, Ooredo or even Kuwait Finance House and cash them in for flights to Asia or Europe. See details of Oasis club for full list of participants.
Frequent flyer points allow you to go further for less. For example, currently, if you fly seven times to the UK, your eighth flight is free with only taxes to be paid during on-line booking.
The website has also been changed as the vast programme of modernisation and introduction of a more efficient airline continue.
So the next time you look to the sky and wish you were on one of the planes, think again. Rather than dreaming, look up the special deals, find out more about seasonal offers. Whether it be Istanbul, Vienna, Muscat, Colombo or Dubai you’ve got your eye one, make the most of KAC the summer and autumn. One bitten, you’ll go back. Just as well the airline is going to add a new mosaic of destinations. Our travelling map out of Kuwait is only about to become more varied, more comfortable and more accessible financially as a result.