MENA airlines investing in Airbus carriers amidst tourism surge

The airline's profit for the first half of 2023 reached $21 million
MENA airlines investing in Airbus carriers amidst tourism surge
Kuwait Airlines

Kuwait Airways has unveiled a comprehensive plan to lease eight Airbus 321neo model jets. The contracts would range from eight to ten years. The national carrier seeks to bolster its fleet with modern aircraft and concurrently boost its financial health. 

Kuwait Airways 

Following profit losses in the tourism and aviation industries due to COVID-19 and an increase in fuel prices, Kuwait Airways has set a strategy in place to increase it’s profits. 

Their plan projects for the airways to break even by 2024. Recent reports show that Kuwait Airways managed to halve its losses in 2022. This was due to a surge in passenger revenue. Currently, Kuwait Airways is operating to 58 direct destinations, with 105 flights per day. Recently, a second US destination, Washington Dulles, was added to the airlines routes. 

The airline’s profit for the first half of 2023 reached $21 million (KWD 6.3 million), indicating a 15.1 percent decrease compared to the previous year’s profit of $24 million (KWD 7.4 million).

Read more: Kuwait Airways witnesses 30 percent increase in revenues

Airbus in the Middle East 

According to the UNWTO World Tourism Barometer, the Middle East is witnessing an 83 percent increase in arrivals compared to pre-pandemic numbers. Airbus’ Global Market Forecast released earlier this year reported that regional airlines are expected to acquire 3,020 new passenger and freight aircraft deliveries by 2040.

Kuwait Airways made a substantial deal with Airbus in 2022. The deal, valued at billions of dollars, involved the acquisition of 31 aircrafts. That would bring the total fleet to 3,210 from a 2019 fleet baseline of 1,300 aircraft.

Just last month, Saudi Arabia’s Flynas ordered more than 30 Airbus320neo aircrafts. This would raise their fleet to 120 aircrafts. Flynas is seeking to have the largest fleet in the Middle East as a low-cost airline. By 2030, they hope to reach over 250 destinations worldwide. 

On the other hand, Emirates Airlines recently announced an investment of over $2 billion in their fleet of Airbus A380s. The upgrades will include a Premium Economy cabin, which will be added to more than 65 of its 116 A380s. These carriers do the job of two smaller aircrafts. 180 Beoing 777s will also be transformed. Emirates A380s fly some of the longest routes in the world, with the longest closing in on 16 hours. So far, 160,000 passengers have chosen Premium Economy since its launch one year ago.

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