Kuwait Airways’ New Business Class Seats

Filed Under: Kuwait Airways

Kuwait Airways is a quirky airline, and they’ve been going great lengths to modernize their fleet in the past few years. The airline has taken delivery of new 777-300ERs and A330-200s, and in the next couple of years will start taking delivery of A320neos, A330-800neos, and A350-900s.

Not only is this allowing Kuwait Airways to significantly expand their route network, but it also means that they’ll soon have one of the youngest fleets in the sky.

However, some of their product decisions have confused me. For example, Kuwait Airways took delivery of all 10 of their 777s between 2016 and 2017, so these are new planes, and they also use these planes for some really long flights, like Kuwait to New York.

Kuwait Airways 777-300ER

Despite that, the airline decided to install B/E 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

That’s why it’s interesting to note that the airline will finally be introducing a more impressive business class product. Kuwait Airways will be installing B/E Aerospace Super Diamond seats on their A330-800neos, as they’ll take delivery of eight of those planes in 2020.

Kuwait Airways A330-800neo

Kuwait Airways joins over 20 other airlines in offering this seat. These reverse herringbone seats are in a 1-2-1 configuration, meaning there’s direct aisle access from every seat. There will be 32 business class seats on these planes, and they’ll feature 78″ of pitch.

B/E Aerospace Super Diamond seats on Royal Air Maroc

B/E Aerospace Super Diamond seats on Royal Air Maroc

This will represent a significant product upgrade for the airline, so I look forward to these planes entering service with Kuwait Airways.

It’s interesting to note that Kuwait Airways has five A330-200s, which they took delivery of in 2015. On these planes they installed reverse herringbone seats in first class, while they installed angled seats in business class.

So Kuwait Airways’ A330-800neo business class will offer a better product than Kuwait Airways’ A330-200 first class.

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 they decided to wait so long to do so, rather than installing these seats on their 777-300ERs, which operate their longest flights.

(Tip of the hat to Economy Class & Beyond)

  1. 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).

  2. 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…

  3. 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.

  4. @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.

  5. @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.

  6. @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.

  7. @ 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

  8. 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.

  9. @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.

  10. 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!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *