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Wataniya to serve Beirut and Bahrain from March

22nd December 2008 - 13:33 GMT | by The Shephard News Team


Kuwait-based premium carrier Wataniya Airways will serve Beirut and Bahrain from March 2009. Flights will begin with the arrival of the airline’s second leased Airbus A320, expected by the end of February.

Wataniya’s first destination will be Dubai, to be served twice a day from February.

“Beirut and Bahrain are immensely important to Kuwaiti travelers,” says chief executive George Cooper. “We expect to offer a combination of advantageous schedules and superior service that will differentiate the Wataniya Airways travel experience from that of other carriers.”

Wataniya’s initially planned fleet of four leased Airbus A320s will be fitted with 122 seats – compared with a European standard of about 145 – divided between first-class and premium economy cabins. Both cabins will be fitted with leather seats from Recaro of Germany.

Inflight entertainment will be provided by Thales’ TopSeries i-4000 AVOD system serving 10.6in screens in the 26 first-class seats. Also offered in every seat will be laptop power from Airbus KID-Systeme and ports allowing passengers to plug in their own iPods and other MP3 devices and play the content on the screen.

In the 96 premium economy seats Thales’ i-2000 broadcast system will deliver six channels of audio to each seat and video to overhead dropdown screens. The channel selector is the same as the unit designed for the Boeing 787; it will fly for the first time in the Wataniya A320s. There will be two power sockets for every three seats.

“Passengers will pay international roaming prices to use the OnAir service,” says Cooper. “We will start with text messaging and email to gauge passenger reaction before giving any thought to activating the voice capability. If we do add voice, we will require a capacity of 12 simultaneous calls.”

The Shephard News Team


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