Wataniya Airways was an airline based in Kuwait that operated flights between 2009 and 2011. The airline was a full-service carrier with the goal to provide a premium flight experience to its customers.
The airline was founded in 2006 but didn't begin operations until 2009. It flew to several destinations around the Middle East, Europe and Asia. Some of its destinations included Dubai, Bahrain, Beirut, Istanbul, Rome and Bangkok, among others. Wataniya Airways was the first and only commercial passenger airline to serve flights out of a private terminal in Kuwait.
Unfortunately, Wataniya Airways suspended operations in 2011 due to financial losses from its non-profitable model of Business/Premium Economy fares only. The airline resumed operations again in 2017 with an all-Economy setup however it was forced to cease operations again due to many delayed and cancelled flights leaving passengers stranded at the airport.
Wataniya Airways has officially ceased operations as of 2018 and no longer has an air operators licence.
Before it ceased operations in 2011 and 2018, Wataniya Airways flew to many destinations in the Middle East, Europe and Asia. Below is a list of all of the airline's former destinations:
The baggage rules for flights with Wataniya Airways varied depending on the cabin class you were travelling in.
Economy Class passengers were allowed to bring one piece of carry-on baggage weighing no more than 7 kg (15 lbs) as well as one piece of checked baggage weighing up to 23 kg (50 lbs).
Business Class passengers were permitted two pieces of carry-on baggage each weighing no more than 7kg (15 lbs) and two pieces of checked baggage, each weighing no more than 32 kg (70 lbs).
For Wataniya flights, passengers were advised to check-in at least 90 minutes before departure for domestic flights and at least 2 hours before departure for international flights.
There were two cabin classes available for Wataniya Airways flights - these were Economy and Business.
Economy Class with Wataniya Airways offered a comfortable travel experience with a range of amenities to enjoy.
Seats in the Economy Class cabin had a pitch of up to 32 inches and a width of up to 18 inches. They had adjustable headrests and footrests to ensure the journey was as comfortable as possible. The seats also had seatback screens giving passengers access to a variety of TV shows, movies and music for in-flight entertainment.
Wataniya's Business Class cabin offered a premium travel experience to its passengers. Passengers travelling in this class would have access to priority check-in, extra baggage allowance and the airline's VIP lounges.
Seats were larger and more comfortable than those in Economy with a pitch of up to 38 inches and a width of up to 20 inches. Adjustable headrests, footrests and lumbar support were included. Like Economy Class, the Business Class seats had screens giving passengers access to in-flight entertainment.
While it was operating, Wataniya Airways offered in-flight entertainment options to its passengers including movies, TV shows and music.
Wataniya Airways served complimentary meals and beverages to all of its passengers. There would be a choice of hot or cold dishes, however, this would vary depending on the length of the flight and the destinations. There were more meal options available for Business Class passengers than there were for Economy Class passengers.
Wataniya Airways had its own frequent flyer program called 'Wataniya Rewards'.
Wataniya Rewards allowed members to earn points for flying with the airline - these points can be used to redeem a range of benefits including free flights, upgrades and exclusive access to airport lounges.
The number of points earned depending on the fare class of the ticket purchased - higher fares meant more points. There were three tiers of membership with Wataniya Rewards - these were Classic, Silver and Gold.
The Classic Tier was the entry-level tier into the program. Passengers at this level could earn points for flights with Wataniya Airways and redeem these for discounted/free flights, upgrades and other benefits.
To qualify for Classic, passengers needed to register for the program with at least 1 point within a 12-month period.
Silver Tier was the mid-level membership tier with Wataniya Rewards. In this tier, passengers could enjoy priority check-in and boarding, extra baggage allowance and exclusive access to airport lounges.
To qualify for Silver, passengers needed to earn at least 15,000 points in one calendar year.
The highest membership tier for Wataniya Rewards was Gold Tier. Passengers could enjoy all the benefits of Classic and Silver plus other benefits including priority baggage handling, guaranteed seat availability and access to a dedicated customer service centre.
To reach Gold, passengers would've needed to earn at least 30,000 points within a 12-month period.
Wataniya Airways was not a member of any airline alliance.
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Kuwait International Airport is the main international airport in Kuwait and is the primary hub for the country's national carrier, Kuwait Airways. The airport has two passenger terminals and a cargo terminal. Many amenities are available at the airport including restaurants, cafes, duty-free shopping and a VIP airport lounge.
Before it ceased operations, Wataniya Airways had its own private terminal at Kuwait International Airport. This terminal offered a range of services including a dedicated check-in area, fast-track security screening and a VIP lounge exclusively for Wataniya Airways passengers.
Before Wataniya Airways ceased operations in 2018, it operated one aircraft - the Airbus A320-200. This aircraft was configured for an economy-class layout and could seat up to 132 passengers. Wataniya Airways had orders for around 25 Airbus A320neos and 10 Embraer E195-E2s with deliveries planned from 2020, however, the airline's air operator licence was revoked.
10th July 2017
Wataniya halted operations in 2011 due to its financial situation and political instability in the region. The airline is to resume flights on Tuesday for the first time since ceasing operations in 2011, according to state news agency KUNA.
Wataniya halted operations after three years in business due to its financial situation and political instability in the Middle East.
The Kuwaiti airline will restart with a scheduled service on July 11 to Tbilisi, Georgia, KUNA reported on Monday,
Wataniya will also resume flights to Baku, Azerbaijan and Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina this week.
The airline has the backing of Al Tuwaijri Group with capital of KD10m ($33.01m), according to KUNA.
The company expects to double its capital to KD20m after flights resume.