Kuwait Airways and Airbus today announced that the Middle Eastern carrier has signed a purchase order for the acquisition of 8 Airbus A330-800neo aircraft. The airplanes are due to be delivered from March 2019.
Today’s news of an additional eight long haul A330neo aircraft will complement the airline’s five A330-200’s, the first of which was delivered in 2015. Kuwait Airways also has 10 Airbus A350-900s on order, due to start deliveries in 2019. The airline’s short haul fleet is comprised of 11 A320ceo and an order for 15 A320neo aircraft, also due to start deliveries in 2019. The Boeing 777-300ER will remain the largest aircraft operated by Kuwait Airways, with a fleet of 10 aircraft.
Lifeline for the A330-800neo
The Airbus A330-800neo is the smaller variant of the two A330neo offered by Airbus, alongside the larger A330-900neo. The -800neo has been a tough sell for the European multinational company, having its only order at the time cancelled at the 2018 Farnborough Airshow July, when Hawaiian airlines cancelled their order for six. Hawaiian instead opted to purchase 10 competing Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners. The Kuwait Airways order brings the total order book for the -800neo to 10 airframes, joining Uganda Airlines’ order for two which was placed at Farnborough Airshow 2018 in July.
The A330-800neo offers 257 seats in a typical two class layout. The larger -900neo has a capacity for 287 in the same configuration. The smaller -800neo does, however, have a longer range of 8,150nmi / 15,094km. This is compared to the 900neo’s range of 7,200nmi / 13,334km.
Matt is a London-based writer and reporter for International Flight Network who has been involved in aviation from a very young age. He has a particular focus on aircraft safety, accidents and technical details.