With great excitement, we saw Kuwait Airways take the first (and second) delivery of its newest aircraft type: the rare Airbus A330-800. This is the first delivery of the shorter A330neo and yet another step towards Kuwait’s flag carrier modernizing its fleet. Although its shorter fuselage means a smaller capacity, it also means an additional 1,700km of range over its bigger, -900 sibling. So, where might Kuwait Airways fly its new aircraft?
Before speculating, it seemed prudent to go directly to the source and ask the carrier itself. We should first note that Simple Flying reached out to Kuwait Airways, inquiring about the future routes of its brand new -800s. Unfortunately, at the time of publication, no response was received from the airline. The airline’s website and booking engine also failed to present any useful information which might give us hints.
We also checked FlightRadar24.com to see if upcoming flights were scheduled for the two aircraft, 9K-APG, and 9K-APF. However, at least in the short-term, nothing is scheduled for the jets. While the airline is flying passenger and/or cargo operations to faraway destinations like London, Shanghai, and Guangzhou, these services utilize the carrier’s Boeing 777-300ER – at least for the next week.
Routesonline published a schedule for the carrier’s passenger operations through November 30th. However, none of the destinations listed show the new aircraft being used. Again, the longest and busiest routes use the 777-300ER.
Congratulations @KuwaitAirways on your two first #A330neo! ✈️✈️
Already no stranger to the #A330 with a fleet of five, Kuwait Airways will benefit from the new A330neo's unbeatable economics and efficiency – the ideal aircraft to operate as the world adapts post-COVID19. https://t.co/gJpBFGm3JH pic.twitter.com/JeDLA3X6cQ
— Airbus (@Airbus) October 29, 2020
What is most likely?
To see what routes are most likely in the short term, we can look at the airline’s route map and current long-haul offerings. During this period of low-volume travel, the A330-800s could effectively serve any of Kuwait Airways’ long-distance services.
With next month’s schedule posted on Routesonline, flights to London, Guangzhou, or Manila could be good candidates. New York isn’t on the schedule for the next month, but perhaps once this service resumes, we could see the -800 flying it. This could also be the case for Bangkok in the east, or Paris, Frankfurt, and Milan up north.
Where could the jets fly in the future?
With its range of 8,150nm (15,094km), the Airbus A330-800 has a long list of potential cities it could fly to from Kuwait. Perhaps once the industry recovers, the cities below might be good destinations for Kuwait Airways and its newest long-haul jets. Not only would these be popular vacation destinations for the citizens and residents of Kuwait, but ex-pats and migrant workers could benefit from the direct connection to their home countries.
- Sydney, Australia: 6,960nm
- Johannesburg, South Africa: 3,500nm
- Los Angeles, United States: 6,950nm
Of course, once an airline takes delivery of a completely new type, it’s not too common that we see it deployed immediately after. Instead, there’s a gap before it gets introduced into the schedule as the airline and its crew familiarize themselves with the new bird(s).
Ultimately, we will just have to wait and see where in the world these rare jets will go.
The schedule information in this article was originally published by Routesonline.
Where do you think Kuwait Airways will fly its new A330-800s? Let us know in the comments.