Kuwait Airways are often overlooked as a Middle Eastern carrier against the larger airlines of Qatar and the UAE, but they offer a route network spanning from New York in the west to Manila in the east. They have a history that goes back to 1953, making them one of the Middle East’s oldest airlines.
Kuwait Airways offer some fantastic fares in Business Class so I decided to give them a try and fly with them to Delhi, India.
I arrived at London Heathrow’s Terminal 4, home to Kuwait Airways at Heathrow. Kuwait Airways offer dedicated first and business class check in, complete with a red carpet to make you feel that little bit more special.
Gulf Air Falcon Gold Lounge
After security, I headed through to the lounge. Kuwait Airways use Gulf Air’s Falcon Gold Lounge at Terminal 4, which is very comfortable and offers fantastic views across the airport.
Before long I was able to view my aircraft arriving in from Kuwait.
I headed down to the gate where boarding was commencing, and was welcomed onboard this Boeing 777-300ER, which was less than two years old.
Kuwait Airways’ First Class product looks incredible, and features fully enclosed suites.
Business Class is in a 2-2-2 configuration, with two cabins – two rows in the front and four rows in the rear cabin making a total of 36 seats.
The seats I found to be fairly comfortable, but privacy was a bit of an issue thanks to the fixed divider between the seats.
Headsets were bought around in a lavish velvet bag.
Before long we pushed back and began our taxi.
We departed Heathrow listening to the beautiful sound of the GE90 engines, getting some great views between the clouds.
Shortly after takeoff, menus were brought round for the meal service. Today was a choice of Chicken Cordon Bleu, Lamb Biryani or Prawn Masala curry. I chose the lamb, but in hindsight feel I should have gone for chicken or fish, as it didn’t look the most appetising.
Kuwait Airways are a dry airline, in line with Kuwait itself, so no alcohol was served at all during the flight. I didn’t really find this an issue. They had a good range of soft drinks, teas and coffees, and I can go for a few hours without drinking.
Shortly after dinner, the cabin crew came around and asked everyone to close their window blinds. They were pretty forceful with this, and pretty soon the cabin was in total darkness. This was pretty frustrating as the flight was entirely within daylight hours, taking off in the morning and landing in the evening into Kuwait. Fortunately, the aircraft does have external cameras, so we were able to observe the view on the screens at least.
The cabin crew came around once more with what has to be the best business class amenity kit I’ve ever had. Branded by Christian Lacroix, it feels incredibly high quality and comes well packed with everything you could ever need, even including a mirror, hair brush and comb!
Diversion, but no diversion
As we passed over northern Turkey, an announcement was made that we would be diverting into Istanbul due to a sick passenger. We were asked to open the blinds and descended towards Istanbul.
Around 20 minutes later however, we were told that the diversion had been cancelled and we climbed away, en-route once again to Kuwait. Window blinds were once again closed and we resumed our flight.
I took a wander back to the economy cabin, which looked pretty spacious in a 3-3-3 configuration, that offers more width than Emirates’ economy cabin on the same aircraft.
We flew the length of Iraq and flew alongside this Lufthansa Boeing 747-8 heading to Bengaluru.
Descent into Kuwait
As the sun set in the west, we commenced our descent over southern Iraq and into Kuwait.
Touchdown was on time, and we disembarked into the modern terminal building. There was a security check for transit passengers, before I headed to the Al Mubarakiya Lounge, Kuwait Airways’ lounge in Kuwait.
Al-Mubarakiya Lounge, Kuwait
The Al Mubarakiya Lounge is pretty basic, but offers a good selection of food and drink. Whilst certainly no match for the lounges of Qatar Airways and Emirates, it is functional and the staff were incredibly friendly and hospitable.
I headed up to the gate where my ride to Delhi was waiting – another 777, again less than two years old.
Back on board
We were soon invited to board. This time I was in the forward business class cabin.
The beautiful pre-flight prayer was played. Of course, I don’t understand it, but I think it sounds incredibly beautiful.
Kuwait City looked stunning lit up at night, as we climbed out over the Gulf.
Dinner service was a different on this flight – a choice of Chicken Kadai, Grilled Hammour or Alou Palak. I opted for the Grilled Hammour which was pretty tasty, despite its rather uninspiring appearance.
Our route today was much longer than usual thanks to Pakistan’s airspace being closed, and we passed over Ahmedabad as we approached Delhi from the south.
Descent into Delhi
We landed on time, and disembarked into Delhi’s International terminal.
Overall, I found Kuwait Airways to provide an excellent service, for the price they charge. My trip from London to Delhi cost just £1,100, compared to over £3,000 on Qatar Airways and Emirates, and over £6,000 for a direct flight with Virgin.
That’s one expensive glass of wine.