Jazeera Airways has ambitious plans to become a large international low-cost-carrier based out of Kuwait, linking Europe and South East Asia with a fleet of long-range Airbus A321LRs.
Who is Jazeera Airways?
Jazeera Airways is a flag carrying airline from the country of Kuwait, nestled right in the middle of the Persian Gulf.
It currently only serves 29 destinations, flying as far as London and New Delhi from its hub in Kuwait International Airport (with the London link soon to take off in October). They accomplish this with a fleet of only 10 aircraft, made up of nine Airbus A320s and one Airbus A320neo (according to PlaneSpotters.net, although other sources present a different list of aircraft).
Their aircraft are in a two-class configuration, with a business class at the front of the plane in a 2-2 layout. The rest of the aircraft is in your standard A320 3-3 configuration.
They are actually the largest Middle Eastern carrier to be privately owned (others in the region are funded by the governments of their respective countries). They also are one of the only airlines in the world to have alcohol free flights.
Like Emirates, Qatar, and Etihad, Jazeera hopes to become the fourth large Middle Eastern carrier linking the two continents of Asia and Europe. However, learning from the mistakes of their comrades, they are planning to go about it in a different way.
What are their plans?
According to an article first published in Bloomberg, the airline is first planning to link holiday destinations in Thailand with travelers in London.
“When you go east you get a much wider market. You can reach Thailand and Manila and many other destinations with a high density that we can serve best as a low-cost carrier.” Jazeera Airways founder Marwan Boodai said to Bloomberg.
However, their current fleet of aircraft would not be ideal for the task and thus the airline is looking to the A321LR with a possibility to upgrade to the Paris Air Show favorite, the A321XLR.
The airline currently has eight more A320neos on order and is likely to expand that order up to 25 A320neo aircraft by 2023. Some of these orders would be changed to be the LR or the XLR series when needed.
Can they compete with the other Middle Eastern carriers?
This would be radically different than their competitors, who are flying large twin-aisle aircraft across the region such as the A380, A350 and the Boeing 777.
“We want the flexibility of a narrow-body and to be able to fill it, rather than the theoretical advantage of a wide-body,” continued Boodai “The A330’s seat-mile costs are attractive, but can airlines fill it with the consistency they need?”
Essentially they are operating on the different model that a smaller narrow-body aircraft is cheaper to fill up than a bigger aircraft (which provides better per-seat economics). Logically, it is better to have a full small aircraft than a half-empty jumbo
Plus, with the bigger range of the XLR, it is possible they could open routes all the way to Manila or even Hong Kong.
What do you think of this news? Do you think they have what it takes to compete against Emirates and others? Let us know.