THE initial response to United Airlines’ flying into Kuwait has been overwhelming, says a company executive.
“We had a 62 per cent load factor on the first day, and it’s been building very nicely since,” the airline’s Marcel Fuchs told TTN.
United launched a service from Washington DC to the Gulf country in the final quarter of 2006. “I believe we started at the right time. Kuwait really complements what we want to do in terms of network expansion.”
New destinations on the company’s flight plan are Beijing and Rome. “And if we’re successful, nothing prevents us from expanding on further.”
In terms of passengers, then, Fuchs said the connection has been popular with a mix of markets: from the US, the uptake is in the finance and banking sectors and the leisure traveller out of Kuwait, while there is a lot of government business both ways.
United currently runs a codeshare service with Lufthansa, which can be teamed with the direct route to offer passengers the maximum flexibility. United also warns to enhance its miles sharing agreements with Qatar Airways and Emirates.
When asked about visas to the US for residents in the Gulf, Fuchs said it was an issue the airline was working very closely with the US department on. “However, I am extremely pleased with the efforts of the embassy in Kuwait, their support has been invaluable.”
FIRST CLASS SUITE
United recently unveiled initial details about the previously announced $165 million upgrade to its international widebody fleet that includes a new luxurious United First Suite, which provides passengers with more privacy, personal space and comfort on overseas flights. The new suite was designed to be the optimal space to work, sleep or relax while enjoying the latest entertainment and amenities. The new First Suite is nearly three inches wider than the current one, and reclines to multiple angles or serves as a fully flat 6-foot, 6-inch bed. Each suite offers a cutting-edge entertainment system providing a 15.4-inch widescreen flat panel monitor with an on-demand digital video and music system that offers multiple selections of movies, TV programmes and video games. United also will offer 50 channels of XM-branded audio content, delivering more than 3,000 songs and a jukebox to create customised play lists. Both the entertainment system navigation controls and content will be offered in several languages.
Among the suite’s amenities are a 110-volt universal plug for laptop power; a USB port to charge personal electronic devices; multiple stowage compartments; noise-cancelling headphones; an iPod connector and more.
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