| Code: 137700 |

TINNews |

Kuwait-based Wataniya Airways is scheduled to operate its first service July 11 to Tbilisi, the capital of the small Caucasus state of Georgia.

Wataniya will initially operate two Airbus A320s, with more planned to arrive by the end of this year.

The airline takes the name of a former Kuwaiti airline, which operated for around two years before going out of business in 2011. The original Wataniya was a premium carrier, with considerable emphasis placed on inflight catering and service.

While retaining the name, the new carrier has no connection to its predecessor, a spokeswoman with a new management team said. Financial backing is being provided by Saudi Arabia’s Al Tuwaijri Group, which has interests in several industrial sectors.

The group is initially funding Wataniya KD10 million ($32 million), with that sum expected to double when the carrier begins services.

The airline said it did not want to compete with either national carrier Kuwait Airways or Kuwaiti hybrid carrier Jazeera Airways. Following its opening service to Tbilisi, Wataniya plans to begin services later in July to Baku, capital of Azerbaijan, and to Sarajevo, in Bosnia-Herzegovina. None of the three initial destinations are served by the other Kuwaiti airlines.

Wataniya said it has initial plans to serve 16 destinations, mainly in the Middle East and the Indian sub-continent.


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