Propelled by aircraft packed to capacity, Wataniya is adding 25 new A321-LR to its fleet just four months after it resumed operations.
Kuwait’s third carrier will operate the aircraft under lease from Golden Falcon Aviation, Wataniya’s biggest shareholder.
The airline currently operates two A320-200 aircraft but with flights packed up to “100 percent on some routes and 80 percent on others” the airline is on track to continue with growth plans, Hamad Al-Tuwaijri, Chairman of Golden Falcon Aviation, told Aviation Business today.
“Our customers in Kuwait like being able to fly non-stop instead of having to fly through Dubai or Sharjah,” says Al-Tuwaijri. “With these new long range aircraft, we can now fly as far as Beijing, China.”
Wataniya returned to the skies after a six-year hiatus in July. In a country through which Emirates flies A380s, the airline currently competes with national carrier Kuwait Airways as well as low-cost carrier Jazeera Airways.
However, there is no reason to deter optimism over future fortunes because the market for travel is growing, according to Al-Tuwaijri.
“Like Flydubai and Emirates what we want to do is feed traffic through Kuwait Airways because they fly to a lot of routes we don’t,” says Al-Tuwaijri. “We want to be a hybrid-low cost airline.”
Wataniya currently operates with both premium and economy cabins to attract passengers on either end of the spectrum. Economy class passengers receive all the same services as business class passengers.
From 1 December, it will unbundle its economy product into ‘Wataniya Seat’ which will allow customers to purchase a food, baggage and other in-flight options as add-ons to seating.