Wataniya to fly to Abu Dhabi by year end

The airline is expected to receive three more aircraft during this year, taking the total fleet size to seven aircraft by the end of 2010. (SUPPLIED)

Kuwait's premium service airline, Wataniya Airways, is looking to launch its second UAE destination – Abu Dhabi, by the end of this year, according to the airline's top executive.

The carrier at present operates services to Dubai – its debut destination – three times a day. The airline completed one year of its operations in January this year.

"Launching the Abu Dhabi route is conceivable towards the end of this year. And so is increasing the Dubai frequency," George Cooper, Chief Executive Officer of Wataniya Airways, told Emirates Business. Wataniya Airways, which has a fleet of four Airbus A320 aircraft in service, currently operates a network of a total of eight destinations.

The airline is expected to receive three more aircraft during this year, taking the total fleet size to seven aircraft by the end of 2010.

With the first aircraft due to be delivered to Wataniya Airways in March this year, the next two are expected to follow in May and September respectively. "With three more aircraft — the A320s — coming in this year, we plan to add more routes. Wataniya will probably be adding two more routes to our existing network by the end of March and then two more in May," said Cooper.

When asked to reveal details about these routes, he said: "Of course, getting slots is not that easy.

"All I can say at this point is that Alexandria would definitely be one of them, which we plan to launch in June this year. And it is possible that we would look to launch services to Abu Dhabi as well towards the end of the year," Cooper added.


GLOBAL ROUTES ON FUTURE MAP

There is a good chance Wataniya Airways, which serves point-to-point connections only within the Middle East at present, would expand its network into other global markets in 2011, according to Chief Executive George Cooper.

"As at now we operate the Airbus A320 aircraft type, which is traditionally restricted to four-and-a-half hours of flying radius around Kuwait. So it would not be possible to fly global routes. But I am not ruling out that we could look at another aircraft type in 2011. We have no aircraft orders for next year yet. So we need to be thinking of that now," he said.

 

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