Kuwait Airways has today taken delivery of the first two Airbus A330-800 aircraft. Only 14 Airbus A330-800s have been ordered, compared to 318 orders for its twin, the Airbus A330-900. Kuwait Airways has eight of the aircraft on order.
Aircraft deliveries have been relatively few and far between of late. This is due to airlines looking to cope with the current situation. After all, why take new aircraft when you’re not flying what you already have. However, it seems as though the case is starting to improve. For example, last week we saw Turkish Airlines take delivery of its first two Airbus A350 aircraft.
Two A330neos for Kuwait Airways
Kuwait Airways has today taken delivery of not one but two Airbus A330-800 aircraft. The A330-800 belongs to the A330neo family, with neo standing for new engine option. With the delivery, Kuwait Airways now had a quarter of its order for the type. The airline considers that the aircraft will be the perfect type to recover from the current industry situation. The first aircraft departed from Toulouse at 11:15, with the second departing just two minutes later.
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Commenting on the delivery, Kuwait Airways Chairman, Captain Ali Mohammad Al-Dukhan said,
“Kuwait Airways takes pride in its continued relationship and cooperation with Airbus for the past four decades… The introduction of the A330neos to our expanding fleet strengthens Kuwait Airways’ position as a prominent airline in both the regional and global aviation sector.”
Kuwait Airways’ A330-800 aircraft will have the capacity for 235 passengers. The aircraft is configured with a two-class cabin. 32 lie-flat business class seats make up the front of the aircraft. Behind these are 203 economy class seats.
What is the Airbus A330-800
Kuwait Airways’ delivery marks the first deliveries of the A330-800 program. As mentioned, only 14 of the type have been ordered. This means that Kuwait’s aircraft will remain somewhat of a rarity unless further orders are received. Alongside Kuwait’s eight orders, Uganda Airlines has two aircraft orders. The remaining four orders are currently not assigned to an airline.
The main difference between the aircraft in the A330neo family is their size. The A330-800 has a length of 58.82 meters compared to 63.66 on the A330-900. It is also slightly taller. In its densest seating arrangement, the -800 would hold 406 passengers, compared to 460 on the -900.
The smaller -800 has, understandably, a smaller maximum payload than the -900. However, what it lacks in capacity it makes up in range. While the -900 has a maximum range of 7,200 nautical miles, the A330-800 will travel up to 8,150 nautical miles.
In 2018 the Airbus A330-800 had an average list price of $259.9 million. This is compared to $296.4 million for the larger -900. Clearly, airlines are happy to pay a bit extra for that extra capacity.
Will you be looking to fly on Kuwait Airways’ new Airbus A330neos? Let us know what you think and why in the comments!