The latest low-cost option for travelers flying between the UK and the Middle East has finally arrived. In fact, Arabian Business reports that Kuwait’s Jazeera Airways has become the first low-cost carrier in the Middle East to fly to the United Kingdom. Taking off today, flight J9-1 completed its maiden voyage in just over six hours, landing in London at 1:14 pm.
The Jazeera Airways flight was operated by the airline’s newest Airbus A320neo, which took off from Terminal 5 at Kuwait International Airport. From there it made its way to the South Terminal of London Gatwick Airport. Arabian Business also notes that this is the first new service to the UK from Kuwait in 55 years. Currently, two other airlines fly the journey: Kuwaiti flag carrier Kuwait Airways and British Airways.
Although Jazeera Airways is known as a low-cost carrier, the airline also includes a ‘premium economy’ class, one step down from its business class. What this looks like in reality is that the airline blocks off the middle seat of the A320 narrowbody.
The pitch of the seats in Jazeera Airways premium economy will be set at 31 inches, which is the middle ground when compared to 33 inches in business class and 29/30 in economy.
“More Kuwaitis are studying at British universities than ever before. More than 6,000 at the last count. Many of them receive visits from their friends and families in Kuwait…Last year, we welcomed over 150,000 Kuwaiti in Britain. Attracted by Britain’s world-class luxury shopping, stunning countryside, unique cities and a vibrant calendar of cultural festivals and sporting events – not just premier league.” -Michael Davenport MBE, the UK Ambassador to Kuwait
The service is set to operate four times weekly initially. In December, the frequency will increase to daily flights.
Just the beginning
“We are pleased to take part of the launch of the first Jazeera Airways flight to UK. We believe in the role of the private sector in supporting the aviation sector. Flights to London is the first of six other destinations planned by Jazeera Airways, and support the DGCA’s vision to increase air traffic to and from Kuwait International Airport. We wish more success to Kuwaiti airlines as the DGCA continues to provide its support to lift the position of the State of Kuwait in the aviation industry under the leadership of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, his Crown Prince and the Government.” -Jazeera Airways Engineer Yousef Sulaiman Al Fouzan
Speaking with Arabian Business, chairman of Jazeera Airways also emphasized that this new London service is part of wider expansion plans for his airline.
“We also continue to expand with flights to new underserved or never served destinations from the Middle East, including destinations in Kyrgyzstan, Nepal, KSA, UAE and more,”
We have low-cost carriers FlyDubai and Air Arabia already branching out across the region and connecting Europe, Central Asia, and Africa. Jazeera Airways looks to challenge these airlines for regional supremacy.
Airlines, of course, do as much planning and analysis as possible before launching a new route. Nevertheless, new routes can be a gamble – especially with the competition continuously adapting and reacting.
Do you have any plans to try this flight? Do you think it has a safe niche outside of competing with the legacy/full-service airlines of British Airways and Kuwait Airways? Let us know by leaving a comment!