This Monday the 30th, Barcelona airport opens a new air operator. It does so to fly in the already very busy corridor between Spain and the Middle East: Kuwait Airways. The company arrives in Barcelona a year after Madrid to fly north to the Persian Gulf region, the body of water that separates the Persian plateau from the Arabian Peninsula.
In recent years, Kuwait Airways has experienced a phase of modernization and expansion designed by its government, owner of the airline, which in its economic growth plan has given priority to the development of its airport and its airline, putting its eyes on what is being done by the executive of neighboring Bahrain and above all inspired by the aeronautical work of other territories in the region reflected in Qatar Airways, Emirates or Etihad. These actors are turning the airports of Doha, Dubai or Abu Dhabi into large global connection nodes, beyond serving their territory.
Kuwait Airways’ idea for its flights with Barcelona is precisely that: after studying the main demands to and from El Prat airport, it has been seen that there will be an important flow of passengers to Pakistan and India via Kuwait, in addition to the existing point-to-air route. point, as I commented to The vanguard, Javier de Dios, company representative for Spain. “The Kuwaiti is a great traveler. Perhaps the nationality of the region that moves the most and on flights to Madrid there are always between 30 and 40 passengers between both cities. For Barcelona, we trust that this is the average,” he commented.
“We know that there will also be an interesting demand from the Pakistani community in Catalonia who will choose to come to the country with us. In addition, a good flow of passengers is expected to and from Thailand, the Philippines or Malaysia in addition to point-to-point travelers between Barcelona and the State of Kuwait,” he concluded.
Three flights per week
The Kuwaiti national company, a historical one in the region, since in March 1954 it will turn 70 years old, begins its operations in Barcelona in a prudent manner: three weekly flights operated on A320neo, the latest generation of the single-aisle Airbus that are progressively replacing to the 320 classics naturally.
What differentiates this model from other Airbus that fly to El Prat, which along with the Boeing 737 is the most common aircraft at this airport, is the seating configuration, prepared for flights of more than six hours, as will be the case with this one. link. The cabin is divided into two classes: business with 12 seats and tourist with 122 seats. The front of the plane has only three rows of four seats with great recline for business class travelers and the remaining seats are distributed in rows of six with more space than that offered by many intra-European airlines. “In addition, Kuwait Airways has decided to market 114 of the 122 seats in the tourist cabin, so the plane will always have more space,” explains Javier de Dios.
If Malaga has been a regular destination for Kuwait Airways for many summers, it has been due to the important links between the Costa del Sol and the region. For its part, Madrid recovered regular flights with Kuwait last year after many years of absence from the company, linking the capitals of both states.
Now Barcelona, and this is something less remembered, also recovers flights to Kuwait after decades. In the late 70s and early 80s, fulfilling an expansion plan aimed at precious petrodollars, Iberia, then state-owned, began flying to infrequent destinations such as Abu Dhabi, the capital of the then very young United Arab Emirates; Jiddah, already at that time the great gate of Saudi Arabia; Tripoli, capital of Muammar Gaddafi’s Libya, and also Kuwait City. All of these destinations originated in Madrid, although they always included Barcelona in their intermediate stops in both directions.
Kuwait is one of the great novelties of this 23-24 winter season in El Prat, in which the airport will also add new flights to destinations in Spain, Africa and northern Europe. This aeronautical winter Vueling will fly directly to Rovaniemi, in Finland, as well as to Sharm el-Seikh and Luxor, in Egypt. This last destination will also be launched by Egyptair. Flights to Milan Malpensa will have a new operator, the low cost WizzAir, and after decades without having it, Barcelona will also recover a national link: Murcia.
The latter will begin to operate twice a week in the first days of December by the Volotea company. Unlike the last flights from El Prat, which were then operated to Murcia-San Javier, an air base open to civil air traffic, this time the Airbuses from Murcia’s Carlos Muñoz company will land at the international airport of the Region of Murcia. , a facility owned by that autonomous community, although managed by Aena. The one in this region is the first airport that Aena operates in Spain and is not its property, acting as a concessionaire, something that is common in airports that Aena SME manages through its international subsidiary in American or European countries.