Kuwait to launch budget airline

Kuwait's first private low-fare airline - Jazeera Airways - plans to take to the skies on 16 November after receiving two Airbus A320 planes it ordered last year, the company's president has said.

    CEO Marwan Boodai: We are taking bookings for flights

    "We are proud to announce that the official launch of the airline will be late October per schedule and we are currently taking bookings for flights on 16 November and beyond," Jazeera Airways chairman and CEO Marwan Boodai said on Monday.
     
    Jazeera's launch flight will be to Dubai.

    The airline's operation includes daily flights to Dubai, Beirut, Damascus, and Manama, and three flights a week to Amman.

    It also plans to operate to Egypt, India and Southeast Asia in the near future, Boodai said.
     
    Jazeera initially planned to start operation in February using two leased planes, but the airline later decided to delay its launch until it received its own aircraft.

    The company will receive two planes next month and another two A320s next June, Boodai said.

    Cheap flights

    Tickets are being offered for as little as 40% of the normal rate in the emirate. Travellers in Kuwait can fly to Manama one-way for $34, Jazeera said.

    The airline was established in May 2004 as a shareholding company,

    founded by Boodai Group, a leading Kuwaiti business group which has key investments in media, transport and aviation sectors.

    Cargo company

    A ticket from Kuwait to Bahrain
    will be as low as $34 one-way

    The Kuwaiti government decided in November 2003 to open up the domestic aviation sector to competition by allowing the private sector to establish low-fare passenger and cargo airlines to compete with the state-owned loss-making Kuwait Airways Corporation (KAC).

    A second private aviation company for cargo is being established.

    The decision came after the Gulf Arab emirates of Sharjah and Abu Dhabi in 2003 began operating no frills carriers.

    Kuwaiti lawmakers have, however, strongly criticised the decision, arguing it would adversely affect the value of the national flagship carrier.

    KAC has incurred a loss almost every year in the past decade and its total accumulated deficits have reached hundreds of millions of dollars.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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