Kuwait Airways opts for Airbus over Boeing: minister

State owned Kuwait Airways Co has chosen Airbus over the Boeing Co on the purchase or lease of new airplanes, Kuwaiti Communications Minister Salem al-Othaina said on Wednesday.

"KAC received two offers from Airbus and Boeing and the board of directors approved the offer from Airbus because it is lower in cost," Othaina told the official KUNA news agency.

Othaina, who oversees the airline that is seeking to replace its ageing fleet, did not give details of how many aircraft would be bought or leased.

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But local daily Al-Watan reported on Sunday that the offer includes buying 25 aircraft at a cost of $3 billion (2.3 billion euros) and leasing another 13.

KAC will reportedly purchase 10 Airbus A350-900 aircraft and 15 of the A320neo model, and delivery is due to start in 2019.

The daily said KAC chose Airbus because its offer was $280 million lower than Boeing's.

In addition to modernising its fleet, the loss-making company wants to make the airline profitable before offering a local or foreign investor a 40 percent stake.

Kuwait Airways has posted losses in all but one of the past 21 years, amounting to more than $2.7 billion, which have been covered by the government.

© 2013 AFP

Source: AFP
Date: May 15, 2013