Kuwait Airways – Whats Left?

After Futoor on Wednesday I got text messages stating that another Kuwait Airways Plane had an emergency landing in Jeddah right after take off and Emergency Oxygen Masks were deployed in the plane. This is the second incident in the last month of a plane having a major mechanical failure, the one before this is when the engines went out on the plane but luckily the pilots knew how to handle the planes and themselves in these emergency situations. One thing that is or was good about Kuwait Airways is that they really trained their pilots, they are probably the best in the region if not the world but I don’t know how of those pilots are left because they are picked up by Emirates, Etihad, Qatar Airways, and even GulfAir with better salaries and benefits.

Our national carrier was the pride of the country, landing points in every major airport across the world, in 2012 it isn’t even a shadow of what it used to be. Kuwait Airways have 15 aircrafts in their fleet and of them 5 have been grounded as of the last two to three weeks, the Airbus A310s & A300s. I don’t even know if they have anymore spare parts to fix these planes and get them airborne let alone safe.

In 2006 Kuwait Airways placed an order for 17 to 19 New Aircrafts, a combination of Airbus 320s & Boeing 787 Dreamliners which was approved by the Council of Ministers. The amount totaled $3 Billion and right after that was blocked by Parliament which they stated at the point would privatize Kuwait Airways giving the New Investors the choice of Aircraft, its now 2012 and still no steps have gone forward in the privatization direction. They were supposed to receive a third of their fleet by 2010 and the rest by the beginning of 2014 since they whole fleet had to be replaced because of their age. I think based on recent events their age is showing and its not a good sign.

Lets not even discuss the level of service or rudeness of the staff, that’s a whole different post but sometimes I can’t blame them because the people who are getting on the plane are even ruder. Kuwaitis act very badly on Kuwait Airways and get away with it, but they wouldn’t even think of trying that on any other airline because they know they would get kicked off. The staff feels like they are falling apart as well, even though there are still some good people there, they are the minority these days.

I believe in a National Carrier but in this case the risk of taking Kuwait Airways is not a risk I am willing to take. I wouldn’t even pay for a ticket on Kuwait Airways in the first place, I have flown Kuwait Airways twice in the past 10 years and both times have been a disaster of an experience but now its getting dangerous to fly on them.

Even if they wanted to get new planes there are three possible ways, they would lease it from one of these Plane Dealers at a very high rate to get it as early as possible, and even if they did they would get it before 2014. They can buy it from Boeing or Airbus but that won’t be available except until 2016 and even if someone cancels there order they would have to check if Kuwait Airways have the same plane requirements to see if they match so that they could get it sooner, or they just move up a bit in the que. In any case it doesn’t look like they can even get new planes any time soon.

There has to be less politics in Kuwait Airways and they need to clean it up, I don’t know how much longer it can survive limping from year to year.

Check out the video below: The 787 Dreamliner is a plane took time to come market while Boeing worked out all the kinks in it, but it has been worth it, its a wider plane with a higher ceiling making it more comfortable for people to fly in. It also has a steep take off and is a very dynamic plane which is very maneuverable, check out the video below at an airshow in the UK where Boeing showcases the new Qatar Airways 787 Dreamliner.

My Emirates A380 Experience

You always hear about the A380 and the double decker plane from Airbus and how many Emirates Airlines ordered from them. Recently I had a chance to fly on one from New York City to Dubai. I heard some conflicting reviews about it so I wasn’t sure what to expect but my expectations were not high. Usually I like flying on the Boeing 777 LR as they are comfortable planes with a very good configuration and long range for for those DXB to US trips.

Now for the first time on the plane I was impressed, it felt like I was going into a building, the thing is huge, no joke, it fits a lot of people. The Average plane fits between 180 to 250 passengers on long haul flights but the Emirates A380 can handle 644 Passengers which is an insane amount 143 of those passengers were in business class which I was a part of. You walk in you can feel that it was a bit cramped but also cozy at the same time, the seats were comfortable and go completely flat. It was a 13 hour flight that got a bit interesting because of a technical delay but the staff managed to keep people happy and we made our connection at the end. Overall there were a lot of short comings that would make me not want to get on an A380 again, it was an experience that I would not like to repeat.

My Overall Opinion:

  • You are handling over 644 passengers and business class which is usually 40 seats increased to more then threefold to 143 passengers, and they didn’t increase the staff in the same capacity.
  • You don’t get that personal touch that you expect in business class, its still there in first but it feels like you are just part of the cargo in business.
  • Asking for a glass of water took 25 to 40 mins when usually it takes them 5 to 10 mins max.
  • Overall the experience wasn’t that good, the price for A380 is even a bit more expensive then a normal plane yet you don’t get that extra service.
  • Basically you are paying for Business Class seats with economy service, you really get lost with the crowd.
  • The Entertainment system in Emirates is excellent as usual, that isn’t even under question and I hope they keep it up.
  • The bathroom was another design disaster, usual business class is 2 to 3 bathrooms for 40 to 50 passengers, and in this case it was 4 bathrooms with two that the air staff closed so basically two bathrooms for 143 so initially it was 35 to 1 bathroom but in this case it ended up to be 71 to bathroom which you can imagine was a nightmare.
  • All of this was just one thing to take into consideration, when you land into any country with 643 passengers the lines at passport control and customs is a huge disaster, even when passengers from First & Business Disembark from the different walkway then Economy we all end up together outside which is a huge amount of people and the number of bags is a also humungous. Basically its as if you are dealing with three planes landing at the same time.

The A380 may have been a success for Airbus with Airlines but it isn’t an experience I would want to repeat to anyone or one that I think is a success for individuals. As a business case its fantastic for airlines, basically packing more people in and the whole plane was full so they will be making more money, for now I’m going to stay away from any flights on that plane and I will try my luck with the Boeing Dreamliner. Boeing may have been very late with the 787 Dreamliner but that is one plane that I am looking forward to flying on. They designed it so it would be more spacious for the person riding and bigger room, more headspace, overall more spacious and more effecient way of flying. So they improved the flight experience of the travel unlike the A380.

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Emirates Orders 32 More Airbus 380s


Emirates stating a profit increase of 248% for this year, so I’m not sure why they got money loaned to them from Stockholm-based lender Sambla if they are making this much of a profit. Now they have just ordered 32 more of the Airbus 380s at the Berlin Air Show, which are the double decker planes. From previous information they currently have 10 of the Airbus A380s in service to 8 destinations. Now that is adding to the 58 A380s that they have already ordered, so they are going to have a massive fleet of A380s at this rate, so what destinations they have in mind I’m not sure. They are going to outgrow there current airport Terminal 3 that they have recently built at alarming rate.

Link: Luxist

Etihad Airlines Crash


The brand spanking new Airbus 340-600, the largest passenger airplane ever built, sat in its hangar in Toulouse, France, without a single hour of airtime. Enter an Arab flight crew of Abu Dhabi Aircraft Technologies (ADAT) to conduct pre-delivery tests on the ground, such as engine run-ups, prior to delivery to Etihad Airways in Abu Dhabi. The ADAT crew taxied the A340-600 to the run-up area. Theyn then took all four engines to takeoff power with a virtually empty aircraft. Not having read the run-up manuals, they had no clue just how light an empty A340-600 is.

The takeoff warning horn was blaring away in the cockpit because they had all 4 engines at full power. The aircraft computers thought they were trying to take off, but the aircraft had not been configured properly (flaps/slats, etc.) Then one of the ADAT crew decided to pull the circuit breaker on the Ground Proximity Sensor to silence the alarm. This fooled the aircraft into thinking it was in the air.

The computers automatically released all the brakes and set the aircraft rocketing forward. The ADAT crew had no idea that this is a safety feature so that pilots can’t land with the brakes on. Not one member of the seven-man Arab crew was quick enough to throttle back the engines from their max power setting, so the $200 million brand-new aircraft crashed into a blast barrier, totaling the airplane.The extent of injuries to the crew is unknown for there has been a news blackout in the major media in France and elsewhere.

Coverage of the story was deemed insulting to Muslim Arabs. Finally, the photos are starting to leak out.

Pictures speak louder then words, but this is pretty shocking, the pilots from Abu Dhabi managed to crash a brand new airplane because they didn’t bother reading the manual. Details aren’t out regarding this crash, and I got the pictures by email. Based on the pictures I wonder how they survived the crash.

Update: Turns out this is a two year old crash, check comments for details

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Emirates Airline A380 Ceases Operations

It seems the cost of this plane isn’t being maintained by the routes its taking. For now the A380 or double decker going to New York has been suspended but still going to London. It seems Emirates Airlines are having more then just financial trouble these days. Its common knowledge that Etihad Airways owns a very big chunk of Emirates Airlines after running into financial trouble. Now they have to think about the routes they have and what to do with this huge plane. They could choose a different route, or lease it out, or rent it out, it would be pretty embarrassing if Etihad rented it. I think that Emirates really didn’t think about what they wanted to do with the planes before ordering them. I flew on the 777 LR to San Francisco and it was a fantastic plane, they need to plan their needs and not just go for the flashiest airline fleet. I have a feeling the next airshow isn’t going to have that many big orders or any orders for that matter.

Heathrow Stop

I have been tired form the last few quick trips over the last couple of weeks. It was a quick stop in London then back again, so I was flying through a few times. The best thing I like to do is sit next to the Window and watch the planes come and go. British Airways have not been the best airlines over the past couple of years but they are still pretty good, everyone seems to have a horror story these days flying on an airline and I can’t blame them. Going through terminal 5 was very confusing, it was built to be like a maze with a million escalators, I have never went up and down so many times just to find the way out of the airport. And Terminal 1 looks like an after thought, I was just happy they had some food since I was hungry. Still seeing the colors of British Airways on those planes just feels very nice, I love taking pictures of them, but one time I would like to take pictures directly from the runway if I could to get the majestic look of these planes.

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