Kuwaiti A320 start-up formally rebrands as Wataniya Airways

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Kuwaiti start-up carrier Kuwait National Airlines has today formally branded itself as Wataniya Airways, the identity under which it will begin operating next year.

The airline plans to start operating with a pair of Airbus A320 aircraft, configured with just 122 seats, from January 2009.

Its name, ‘Wataniya’, means ‘national’. Chairman Abdul Salam Al Bahar says: “We selected this name because we intend to be a truly national airline for Kuwaiti travellers.”

He says the aircraft will carry a purple livery, the colour being associated with royalty, while the vertical fin will feature a symbol representing the Kuwait Towers, a group of three structures on the northern coast of Kuwait City.

“From the moment our passengers arrive at Kuwait International Airport they will experience something unique,” says the carrier.

“They will enjoy personalised check-in services, fast-track immigration procedures and an exclusive lounge serving all our passengers, that will make the on-the-ground experience alone something quite out of the ordinary.”

Wataniya Airways will initially operate point-to-point services to Middle Eastern destinations towards the south and west of Kuwait.

Chief executive George Cooper says the unveiling of the new brand is a “major step” towards the creation of a “unique premium airline”.

He says: “It takes time to develop a quality product but we now have the right people, the right product and the right business model for success.”

Wataniya Airways last year agreed to lease three A320 aircraft from the country’s Aviation Lease and Finance Company (ALAFCO).