DOHA: Kuwait Airways is expecting a fourfold passenger rise in 2022 when compared to 2021, as the aviation industry is strongly rebounding post the pandemic, said its CEO Maen Mahmoud Razouqi.
In an exclusive interview with Arab News on the sidelines of the International Air Transport Association Annual General Meeting in Doha, he revealed that the passenger flow in Kuwait Airways has exceeded expectations in the first quarter, and he expects a strong rise in Q2 as well.
Razouqi, however, did not reveal the exact numbers of travelers who flew on Kuwait Airways in the first quarter.
“We have seen a great pickup in our activities. So our Q1 performance exceeded expectations and we are very hopeful that Q2 will even be better. Expectations for the year are not necessarily as close as 2019. But it is definitely in the range of four times what was in 2021,” Razouqi told Arab News.
He added: “Our focus remains on the customer services. We are here to produce and offer a product that our customers will distinguish the performance of Kuwait Airways.”
Our Q1 performance exceeded expectations and we are very hopeful that Q2 will even be better.
Maen Mahmoud Razouqi
Razouqi further noted that Kuwait Airways is also vulnerable to the negative impacts of jet fuel hikes, even though it is a leading oil producer.
“We are lucky to be an oil producer. But we are also vulnerable to the fact that oil prices and jet fuel rate is increasing. In some places, we see it at the maximum increased rate of 93 percent. But in some others, we’re also seeing it in the range of 50 percent. So we will adjust to it,” added Razouqi.
He pointed out that Kuwait Airways is also working to reduce emissions. It should be noted that IATA has recently launched its CO2 Connect, an online tool which provides the most accurate carbon dioxide emission calculations for any given commercial passenger flight, as it aims to achieve net-zero by 2050.
Talking about sustainable aviation fuel, Razouqi made it clear that Kuwait Airways is exploring all the ways to reduce consumption, which will ensure sustainability, and finally the ultimate goal of net-zero.
The CEO revealed that Kuwait Airways now has 56 direct routes, and 17 new routes will be introduced in the summer, which include destinations like the US and Spain, along with Greece’s Mykonos, Bosnia’s Sarajevo and Morocco’s Casablanca.
With regard to Kuwait Airways’ fleet expansion, Razouqi said, “We announced our new deal with Airbus in February that consisted of 31 planes … Some of them have already been delivered and we should see the completion of the delivery by 2026.”
He also pointed out that Kuwait Airways will add a number of aircraft to its fleet this year itself, and the ultimate aim is to elevate the number of aircraft in its arsenal to 60 by the end of this year.