On the wave of the oil boom of the 1940s, a national carrier was born in 1954. Initially, Kuwait Airways Company served a limited network of Abadan, Beirut, Damascus and Jerusalem but a year later the fledgling carrier was facing economic hardship, and the government of Kuwait took a 50% interest in the airline, subsequently doubling the company’s capital. Having entered the rough and tumble world of aviation, the government finally took out 100% share in Kuwait Airways.
Kuwait Airways entered the jet age in 1962 by leasing a Comet 4-C, the world’s first jet-engined airliner. In the 1960s, the national carrier rapidly expanded its route map, and scheduled services to London begun three times a week. To keep pace with fast-moving aviation needs, three Boeing 707s were delivered in 1968. Ten years later, Kuwait Airways had an all -Boeing 707 fleet of eight aircraft.
In 1978, Kuwait Airways entered the wide-body age by taking delivery of its first two B747-200s, adding a third the following year. This expansion permitted Kuwait Airways to extend its network to New York to the west and Manila to the east.
Modernization of the fleet continued, and four B727-200s were delivered in 1980-1981. Two years later eight Airbus A310s and A300-600s were delivered, and in 1986 three Boeing 767-200ER aircraft joined the wide-body fleet.
Following the destruction of its premises and 15 of its aircraft during the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, the airline was relaunched. Kuwait Airways fleet now comprises three A320-200s, three A310-300s, five A300-605Rs, four A340-300s and two Boeing B777s, bringing the fleet to 17 aircraft, equipped with the latest entertainment systems.
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