KUWAIT CITY (AFP/ APP): Kuwait Airways announced an expanded, $6 billion deal with Airbus that includes 31 new planes on Monday, restructuring an agreement struck in 2014.
The deal comes after occasionally “heated” negotiations following probes over allegations of kickbacks surrounding the initial, 25-plane order.
“We have managed to agree on a monumental restructuring that will position Kuwait Airways in a much stronger place to succeed for the next 15 years,” company chairman Ali Al-Dukhan told a news conference. The new agreement includes nine Airbus A320neo, six A321neo, three A321neo LR, four A330-800neo, seven A330-900neo and two A350-900.
“To be frank, I was sceptical about Airbus’ way of dealing, mainly because of rumours surrounding past deals with Kuwait Airways,” Al-Dukhan said.
“We entered four months of serious, professional negotiations, which did get heated at times, but always maintained respect and understanding of each other’s wants and needs,” he added.
Kuwait Airways in 2014 ordered 15 Airbus 320neo and 10 Airbus 350, with delivery beginning in 2019.
In February 2020, Kuwait’s parliament opened a fact-finding panel to probe allegations of kickbacks, after Airbus paid huge fines to settle bribery cases in French, British and American courts.