A few weeks ago I was at London Heathrow Airport and saw a Kuwait Airways 747.
Now, I’ll be the first to say I’m not an expert on Kuwait Airways’ fleet, but I hadn’t realized they had 747s in their fleet.
And I was correct, because they don’t… at least not really. The Emir of Kuwait has a private Boeing 747-400, which interestingly Kuwait Airways sometimes uses on commercial routes when it’s otherwise not in use.
I mean, that’s like American Airlines occasionally subbing in Air Force One on a New York to London flight. Okay, not quite the same, but you get the point. 😉
Anyway, per airlineroute.net, the Kuwait Airways 747 service to London Heathrow wasn’t a one off.
Between February 13 and March 28, 2015, Kuwait Airways will operate three times weekly 747 service between Kuwait City and London. The flight will operate with the following schedule:
KU103 Kuwait City to London departing 12:20PM arriving 4:20PM (Wed, Fri, Sun)
KU104 London to Kuwait City departing 10:30AM arriving 7:55PM (Thu, Sat, Mon)
The schedule makes no sense to me, given that the plane seems to be sitting in London for 20 hours in each case, and there’s not really a more expensive airport in the world to park a plane for that long. I guess the logic is that they want the crew to work each “roundtrip,” though surely it’s cheaper to keep the crew there for a couple of days than to park a 747 at Heathrow for a day.
So, since this is the private plane of the ruler of an oil-rich country, surely the entire cabin is decked out with gold, and maybe there’s even a hot tub aboard? Not quite, unfortunately.
Interestingly the upper deck is the only area that’s “special,” and it’s off limits when the plane flies commercially (you can’t even get a tour of it).
The lower deck is fully equipped for passenger service, and for lack of a better word, looks wretched. The first class product looks more like a bad business class product, and the business class product looks more like premium economy (you can see it 5min30sec into the below video). And there’s a flying hospital in the middle of economy class.
Here’s a video my friend Sam Chui made about his flight on the Kuwait Airways 747 on this route:
I’ve written in the past about what a great value Kuwait Airways fares are out of Colombo, Sri Lanka. For ~$1,100 you can fly from Colombo to Kuwait City to London to New York in business class, all on Kuwait Airways. And if you can knock out their Airbus A300, Boeing 747-400, and Boeing 77-200 all in one trip, all the better…
If there has ever been a time to write a Kuwait Airways trip report, I think this opportunity is as good as it gets…