Kuwait Airways buys 25 Airbuses, first order in 20 years

File - A Kuwait Airways plane preparing for landing over the Sukarno-Hatta airport in Tangerang, March 18, 2013. (AFP PHOTO / ADEK BERRY)

KUWAIT CITY: Loss-making state-owned Kuwait Airways Co. signed contracts with Airbus Wednesday to buy 25 planes, its first order for new aircraft in more than 20 years, the official KUNA news agency reported.

Under the deals, KAC will buy 15 A320neo and 10 A350-900 aircraft, with an option to buy 10 more – five from each category. Delivery is to commence in 2019.

The second contract stipulates the lease of seven A320s and five A330s. The value of the deals was not disclosed.

Kuwait Airways Co., which is being readied for privatization, and Airbus signed a memorandum of understanding in December.

Earlier this month, Parliament called on its legal committee to investigate the new deals by KAC, and the probe should be completed within one month.

In addition to modernizing its fleet, KAC wants to become profitable before offering a 40 percent stake to a local or foreign investor.

It has posted losses in all but one of the past 21 years, amounting to a total of more than $2.7 billion (2 billion euros), which has been covered by the government.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on February 20, 2014, on page 5.




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