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Kuwait’s newest air terminal to witness 1st direct flight to New York today

Flight KU 117 seventh and last phase of operating the facility

KUWAIT: The Terminal 4 (T4) building, the back-up facility for Kuwait International Airport, will witness today launching first direct flight to New York, exactly one year after commercial flights started at the state-of-the-art facility. Flight KU 117 constitutes the seventh and last phase of operating the facility, thus Kuwait Airways will leap to an advanced position in commercial aviation. Last December, the air facility had witnessed flights to all Kuwait Airways destinations, except for New York, that were still scheduled via Terminal 1 (T1).

Terminal 4 inaugurated commercial flights to Bahrain on August 8, 2018, followed by a trip to Dubai August 15, 2018. In September 2018, Kuwait Airways Corporation (KAC) began organizing flights to all GCC countries. On October 10 2018, KAC declared increasing operations from T4, covering all Arab states. Moreover, the corporation announced on October 21, 2018 launching two-way flights to European cities except for London via its new building. On October 28, 2018, it announced scheduling flights to Heathrow Airport via T4. On December 2, 2018, KAC declared plans to stage departing and incoming flights to Iran, Pakistan, Thailand and the Philippines via the new terminal.

On July 16, 2019, Kuwait Airways planned direct flights to New York via T4 after completing all relevant procedures warranted by the American aviation authorities. These operations have been executed according to a plan set by the civil aviation authority for phased shifting of flights from T1 to T4. The national plan is in harmony with guidelines set by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) for gradual shifting of operations from old to new terminals to provide time for assessment. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has secured buses to transport passengers from T1 to T4 in some cases. A special team examines passengers’ needs and provided services at T4.

The new terminal was inaugurated on July 4, 2018 under the patronage of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah. The modern facility is considered a main achievements on the path towards making Kuwait a regional business hub. The 55,000-sq-m T4 has a capacity to accommodate some 4.5 million passengers per year. It provides jobs to 2,000 citizens and contributes with $60 million to annual state revenues. DGCA signed the contract to build T4 in 2016 with the Turkish Genghis company and the Kuwaiti Al-Oula company at a value amounting to KD 52.89 million ($173.2 million).

The Korean Incheon International Airport Corporation (IIAC) manages the T4 facility. The complex, built according to criteria of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), features stat-of-art designs, technology and security systems. Its construction has helped in balancing distribution of passengers among national air facilities, including Sheikh Saad airport (T3) and Al-Jazeera terminal (T5). KAC was established in 1953 as a private aviation company. In 1962, the government acquired its entire stakes. It operates to 40 destinations worldwide. – KUNA

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