Kuwait Airways’ New Business Class Seats

Kuwait Airways’ New Business Class Seats

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We knew this was coming, but we’re now seeing the first pictures of Kuwait Airways’ new business class.

Kuwait Airways is a quirky airline

Kuwait Airways is investing billions of dollars to modernize its fleet, which is long overdue. At this point Kuwait Airways’ average fleet age is under five years old, which is significantly lower than it used to be:

  • Within the past few years the airline has taken delivery of 10 Boeing 777-300ERs, its new flagship aircraft
  • In the past five years Kuwait Airways has taken delivery of five A330-200s
  • The airline has taken delivery of three A320neos, with a further 12 on order
  • The airline has just started taking delivery of its first of eight A330-800neos, and the airline is the launch customer for this plane

While this new fleet is great, some of Kuwait Airways’ passenger experience decisions have surprised me. For example, Kuwait Airways took delivery of 10 777s between 2016 and 2017. Not only are these new planes, but they’ll be used for key routes, like Kuwait to London, New York, Paris, etc.

Kuwait Airways 777-300ER

Despite that, the airline decided to install Collins Aerospace Diamond seats on these planes, which sure aren’t impressive for the kinds of journeys they’ll be operating.


Kuwait Airways business class 777-300ER

Kuwait Airways also has fairly new A330-200s, and on these planes the airline installed reverse herringbone seats in first class, and angled seats in business class. Really?

Kuwait Airways first class A330-200


Kuwait Airways business class A330-200

Kuwait Airways’ A330-800neo business class

Kuwait Airways has just started taking delivery of its A330-800neos, as the airline is the launch customer for this plane.

Kuwait Airways A330-800neo

We already knew in advance that Kuwait Airways would install Collins Aerospace Super Diamond seats on these planes, but we now have the first look into the cabin. Here’s a video Kuwait Airways posted of the interior of the new plane:

And below is a screen grab of the business class seat.

Kuwait Airways business class A330-800neo

It’s fantastic to see Kuwait Airways finally elevating its business class:

  • Kuwait Airways’ A330-800neo business class is now better than its A330-200 first class
  • Kuwait Airways’ A330-800neo business class is significantly better than its 777-300ER business class, even though the latter is used in the most premium markets

The Collins Aerospace Super Diamond seat is popular with airlines, as dozens of other airlines offer this seat as well.

Collins Aerospace Super Diamond seats on Royal Air Maroc


Collins Aerospace Super Diamond seats on Air Canada

Kuwait Airways also has five A350-900s on order. I would guess they’ll probably also get these seats, but only time will tell.

Bottom line

It’s great to see Kuwait Airways finally introduce a business class product with direct aisle access from every seat. It’s just strange to me that the airline waited so long to do this, rather than installing a proper business class seat on its flagship 777, which operates the longest and most premium routes.

Here’s to hoping the same seats are installed on the upcoming A350s.

What do you make of Kuwait Airways’ new business class?

Conversations (19)
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  1. Jamie Gold

    These seats look like my “ old days “ on Virgin Australia long haul. Ps isn’t Kuwait one of the only first class you haven’t travelled Ben ?

  2. Ksa63 Guest

    I flew Air Canada AC91 from GRU to YYZ earlier this week in business. I wasn’t impressed with the business class Collins Aerospace Super Diamond seat. It was very hard and narrow and uncomfortable and the placement of the tray made it difficult to turn when lying down. There must be better options out there.

  3. Marco Guest

    Flew on KU's A340s back in 1996 and 1997 out of JFK via LHR and ORD via AMS to KWI and beyond. Just photos to relive the experience and no smartphone videos. They had introduced seat back videos at the time which were all the craze. which now are all fuzzy little screens. However kept you entertained rather than having to look at a big fuzzy screen up front or the little mounted ones on...

    Flew on KU's A340s back in 1996 and 1997 out of JFK via LHR and ORD via AMS to KWI and beyond. Just photos to relive the experience and no smartphone videos. They had introduced seat back videos at the time which were all the craze. which now are all fuzzy little screens. However kept you entertained rather than having to look at a big fuzzy screen up front or the little mounted ones on the ceiling. Loved the flights on the A340. Sure they take forever to leave the ground but once in the air they are such smooth flights. Love those hair dryer engines lol. Nice that KU even had an A340.

    Years later the Airbus aircaft are still part of the fleet. Also the not so new livery is nice.

  4. Hiro Gold

    The one unique thing about KU was "ladies first boarding" (on DEL-KWI flight). Never experienced that before! Wouldn't be surprised though since the CEO of airline is a woman.

    I could be wrong but I believe Kuwait is quite advanced in women's rights, as compared to other Middle Eastern states.

  5. burritomiles Guest

    I can't KuWAIT to ride the rare A330-800neo!!

  6. Frederik Guest

    Not trying to be awkward Lucky, but I will agree to disagree on the better seats. I much prefer the spacious and forward facing seats on the current 777/a330s to the new ones with the coffin area over legs and where you cannot see around the cabin easily. As a broad man I really like the Business like this and on old Qatar, current LOT and most of Turkish. The new ones are often too...

    Not trying to be awkward Lucky, but I will agree to disagree on the better seats. I much prefer the spacious and forward facing seats on the current 777/a330s to the new ones with the coffin area over legs and where you cannot see around the cabin easily. As a broad man I really like the Business like this and on old Qatar, current LOT and most of Turkish. The new ones are often too narrow at the chest and although very private I personally find them claustrophobic and cocooning. I actually like being able to look around the cabin and see the spaciousness.

  7. GuruJanitor Gold

    Lots of really interesting and insightful discussion in the comments here, today.

  8. Elijah Gold

    @0504traveller. Who cares about your blog...

  9. _ar Member

    I lived in Dubai in the 1980s and had uncles/aunts that lived in Kuwait and we used to travel in between. If may offer something - while Kuwait was economically prosperous and liberal in the 60s and 70s by the 80s this had changed. My uncle was trying to move out and get a job in Dubai. There was the opposite of the oil shock as prices declined (or a shock to the Gulf now...

    I lived in Dubai in the 1980s and had uncles/aunts that lived in Kuwait and we used to travel in between. If may offer something - while Kuwait was economically prosperous and liberal in the 60s and 70s by the 80s this had changed. My uncle was trying to move out and get a job in Dubai. There was the opposite of the oil shock as prices declined (or a shock to the Gulf now vs. the west in the 70s), and Kuwait also had a lot of political problems. I remember their Emir was almost assassinated (since in my mind it's linked with some Wham songs :-)) and there was bombings, etc. and the general consensus was that things are spiraling down there. We lived with the Iran-Iraq war as background in a way, and Kuwait suffered more because of it. Also, Dubai never had much oil and and has always developed its economy based on trade... it's not so much that they were forward thinking as that they didn't have any choice so it looks now 40 years later that they were smart to diversify their economy. Dubai developed the biggest port in the region back in the late 70s, and launched an airline in 1985 - all because they needed to build an economy without oil.

    British Airways had a hopper - I still remember it was Delhi Dubai Kuwait London - flight 147 - that we took between Dubai and Kuwait. No expats really took Kuwait Airways or Gulf Air :-)

    I have soft spot for that region but never went back after the first Gulf War...

  10. 0504Traveller Guest

    I recently flew on Kuwait Airways and it was a mixed experience. The first leg was on an old Airbus which looked and felt like it belonged in the 90's. The service on the plane was also bad as the crew did not care about passengers nor service. The second Airbus was more modern and looked cleaner and fresher, and the service improved somewhat but still was not great (you can read the full review...

    I recently flew on Kuwait Airways and it was a mixed experience. The first leg was on an old Airbus which looked and felt like it belonged in the 90's. The service on the plane was also bad as the crew did not care about passengers nor service. The second Airbus was more modern and looked cleaner and fresher, and the service improved somewhat but still was not great (you can read the full review on my blog)

    The real issue - in my opinion - is the new terminal they opened exclusively for Kuwait Airways. I traveled there in April and there are functioning gates, two lounges, a coffee shop and a small duty free shop and that is it. They are still building more the airport and more than half of the services are not available. The personnel in the airport are also rude and the lounge that we went to was alright (good for 1-2 hours - not good for the 4+ hours layover we had). After that experience, I vowed never to travel with Kuwait Airways again!

  11. Essam Guest

    @Aaron

    I agree. One other thing to note is that Kuwait has a different political system than the UAE and Qatar. It’s by no means Switzerland but they do have an elected parliament through which every law must go through. It also has the power to remove government ministers and even the Emir (happened with Saad in 2006). Given this system, every public project or new legislation has to go through a long process, so...

    @Aaron

    I agree. One other thing to note is that Kuwait has a different political system than the UAE and Qatar. It’s by no means Switzerland but they do have an elected parliament through which every law must go through. It also has the power to remove government ministers and even the Emir (happened with Saad in 2006). Given this system, every public project or new legislation has to go through a long process, so naturally new development takes much longer than other countries in the region where it is basically a one man show.

  12. Aaron Diamond

    Kuwaitis began investing in Kuwait in the mid to late 90s, years before Saddam's death. Lots of international restaurants and new shopping malls, began opening during that time, as well as redevelopment of parts of the waterfront, new water parks, etc. There was also a construction boom, with lots of apartment buildings being built as well.

    I think the reason is, the ruling class of Dubai upped their game, while the Kuwaitis just stopped...

    Kuwaitis began investing in Kuwait in the mid to late 90s, years before Saddam's death. Lots of international restaurants and new shopping malls, began opening during that time, as well as redevelopment of parts of the waterfront, new water parks, etc. There was also a construction boom, with lots of apartment buildings being built as well.

    I think the reason is, the ruling class of Dubai upped their game, while the Kuwaitis just stopped being so forward thinking. In many ways, they still aren't. As you said, Kuwait may finally start to catch up, but they are still many laps behind places like the UAE and Qatar.

  13. Mike Guest

    @ Aaron,

    From what i hear (don't know how much of it is true) most Kuwaitis ceased to invest in Kuwait after the invasion. Opting instead to invest in Dubai, where I hear was a major reason for it's boom early on. That all changed recently when Saddam died, Kuwaitis starting re-investing in their own country, coinciding with the many constructions/projects around town

  14. Aaron Diamond

    @Essam

    But that was almost 30 years ago. A country with Kuwait's natural resources shouldn't take that long to recover. And in terms of the physical, it did. Infrastructure was all repaired within a few years, the majority of all damaged buildings repaired within a few years, etc. One could say the war/invasion damaged the psyche of the people and the society as a whole, but again, not sure how the 90/91 invasion is responsible for Kuwait's current problems.

  15. Essam Guest

    @Aaron

    One thing you forgot to mention is the Iraqi invasion and occupation in1990-91 that came from nowhere. The whole country ceased to exist for 7 months. It takes a while to rebound from that.

  16. Peter Diamond

    @Aaron - completely agree with your take, but I will say that having just visited Kuwait, I do think the city will be right on par with Dubai etc. within 10 years or so. The amount of construction is insane, and tons of restaurants, coffee shops (general gentrification) are popping up. The main thing Kuwait has going for it is the people are incredibly friendly, and unlike the UAE where you'll never meet an Emirati,...

    @Aaron - completely agree with your take, but I will say that having just visited Kuwait, I do think the city will be right on par with Dubai etc. within 10 years or so. The amount of construction is insane, and tons of restaurants, coffee shops (general gentrification) are popping up. The main thing Kuwait has going for it is the people are incredibly friendly, and unlike the UAE where you'll never meet an Emirati, we had tons of great interactions with Kuwaitis.
    @JamesHogan - I'd definitely guess blue collar.

    I'd argue you do not need to fly first or biz to/from NYC. We flew economy and had entire rows to ourselves both ways (from NYC had maybe 20 other people total). The perks of visiting unpopular locations.

  17. JamesHoganFan Guest

    Kuwait has regularly topped the list of the worst countries to live in and work for Expats im recent years. However not sure if these ratings are mixing blue-collar and white collar workers.

  18. Aaron Diamond

    The interesting thing is, Kuwait in the 1960s to the late 80s was the Dubai of that era. It's where foreign expats wanted to go the most in that region, it had the most open lifestyle in the GCC, business was booming, alcohol was legal there until the late 1970s, they had the best airline in the GCC, etc.

    Somewhere along the way, they became complacent and spoiled, and have been lapped by the...

    The interesting thing is, Kuwait in the 1960s to the late 80s was the Dubai of that era. It's where foreign expats wanted to go the most in that region, it had the most open lifestyle in the GCC, business was booming, alcohol was legal there until the late 1970s, they had the best airline in the GCC, etc.

    Somewhere along the way, they became complacent and spoiled, and have been lapped by the UAE as a whole and arguably by Qatar as well. Bad decisions by the government, too much corruption/cronyism, etc. It's too bad really, Kuwait (not just the airlines) should be on the same level as the UAE and Qatar today, but they aren't. A few too many steps behind.

    If anything, Kuwait Airways, in comparison to EK and QR, kind of serves as a good symbol of how things have changed for that country...

  19. The nice Paul Diamond

    Will there be First on the new A330s?

    If not, they’re following the well-trodden path of introducing a J class that’s better than their existing F class, but only in new planes that don’t have F (Qatar, BA).

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Jamie Gold

These seats look like my “ old days “ on Virgin Australia long haul. Ps isn’t Kuwait one of the only first class you haven’t travelled Ben ?

0
Ksa63 Guest

I flew Air Canada AC91 from GRU to YYZ earlier this week in business. I wasn’t impressed with the business class Collins Aerospace Super Diamond seat. It was very hard and narrow and uncomfortable and the placement of the tray made it difficult to turn when lying down. There must be better options out there.

0
Marco Guest

Flew on KU's A340s back in 1996 and 1997 out of JFK via LHR and ORD via AMS to KWI and beyond. Just photos to relive the experience and no smartphone videos. They had introduced seat back videos at the time which were all the craze. which now are all fuzzy little screens. However kept you entertained rather than having to look at a big fuzzy screen up front or the little mounted ones on the ceiling. Loved the flights on the A340. Sure they take forever to leave the ground but once in the air they are such smooth flights. Love those hair dryer engines lol. Nice that KU even had an A340. Years later the Airbus aircaft are still part of the fleet. Also the not so new livery is nice.

0
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