Jazeera Airways receives first A320neo in the Middle East
Jazeera Airways, a Kuwaiti low-cost carrier, on June 11, 2018, took delivery of the first Airbus A320neo aircraft in the Middle East. It is also the first of three A320neos scheduled to be delivered to the airline by May 2019.
"The A320neo introduces new upgrades that enable us to make cost savings while improving performance and increasing the range covered by the single-aisle aircraft," the budget carrier’s CEO Rohit Ramachandran was quoted as saying by Trade Arabia News Service on the occasion.
According to Ramachandran, the new aircraft will support the carrier’s “continued network expansion to cover destinations that are around 5 to 6 hours away from Kuwait."
Established in 2004, Jazeera Airways is the Middle East’s first non-government owned airline and the biggest private airline operating out of Kuwait, serving over 1.2 million passengers annually.
Currently, the carrier flies to 17 destinations, all in the Middle East, including to Amman (Jordan), Baku (Azerbaijan), Beirut (Lebanon), Cairo (Egypt), Dubai (UAE), Istanbul (Turkey), and Riyadh (Saudi Arabia) among others.
Jazeera Airways operates an all-Airbus fleet consisting of 12 A320-214s and now, its first A320neo twinjet (9K-CAQ), which is powered by CFM International LEAP-1A engines.
The first flight of its new A320neo jetliner, Flight J9176, left Kuwait International Airport (KWI) for Dubai International Airport (DXB) in the UAE at 1:10 PM (GMT+3) on June 11, 2018, as flight tracking website flightradar24 shows.
Several carriers in the Middle East have A320 Family jets on order. Qatar Airways had placed an order for 50 A320neos back in 2011. The carrier had originally been scheduled to receive the first A320neo, but the jets were not delivered. In 2017, the order was upgraded to 50 A321neos, including some A321neos in “Long Range” configuration, the A321LR.
Among other customers from the region, according to the Airbus A320neo Family order book as of May 2018 there are: Kuwait’s national carrier (and Jazeera Airways rival) Kuwait Airways with an order of 15 A320neos; Bahrain’s national carrier Gulf Air with an order of 12 A320neos and 17 A321neos; the UAE’s national carrier Etihad Airways with an order of 10 A320neos and 26 A321neos; Lebanon’s national carrier Middle East Airlines with an order of 11 A321neos; Saudi Arabian low-cost carrier Flynas with an order of 80 A320neos; Iran’s national carrier Iran Air with an order of 32 A320neos; and the UAE based low-cost carrier Air Arabia with an order of six A321LRs from Air Lease.
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