Kuwait International Airport

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Kuwait International Airport
مطار الكويت الدولي
Kuwait airport.jpg
Airport type Public / Military
Operator Directorate General of Civil Aviation
Serves Kuwait City, Kuwait
Location Al Farwaniyah Governorate, Kuwait
Hub for
Elevation AMSL 206 ft / 63 m
Coordinates 29°13′36″N 047°58′48″E / 29.22667°N 47.98000°E / 29.22667; 47.98000Coordinates: 29°13′36″N 047°58′48″E / 29.22667°N 47.98000°E / 29.22667; 47.98000
Website www.dgca.gov.kw
KWI is located in Al- Andalus
Location of airport in Kuwait
Direction Length Surface
m ft
15R/33L 3,600 11,800 Concrete
15L/33R 4,120 13,517 Asphalt
Statistics (2013)
Passengers 9,376,618 Increase

Kuwait International Airport (Arabic: مطار الكويت الدولي‎, IATA: KWIICAO: OKBK) is located in Farwaniyah, Kuwait, 15.5 kilometers (9.6 mi) south of Kuwait City, spread over an area of 38 square kilometres (15 sq mi). It serves as hub for Jazeera Airways and Kuwait Airways. A portion of the airport complex is designated as Al Mubarak Air Base, which contains the headquarters of the Kuwait Air Force, as well as the Kuwait Air Force Museum.


The airport was first launched in the period of 1927-1928.[3] The main airport structure was executed and completed by Al Hani Construction joint venture with Ballast Nedam, The Netherlands.

The airport underwent a massive renovation and expansion project from 1999–2001, in which the former parking lot was cleared and a terminal expansion was built. This incorporated new check-in areas, a new entrance to the airport, the construction of a multi-story parking structure, and an airport mall.

Kuwait International Airport can currently handle more than nine million passengers a year. A new general aviation terminal was completed in 2008 under a BOT scheme and is operated by Royal Aviation. By the end of 2008, however, this terminal was modified to handle the scheduled services of now-defunct Wataniya Airways along with general aviation traffic. The terminal was renamed as Sheikh Saad Terminal.

On 3 October 2011, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation announced that a new Foster + Partners-designed terminal will begin construction in 2012 and will increase the annual passenger handling amount to 13 million passengers in its first phase with the option of expanding to 25 million passengers. The airport has finalized formalities for the construction of the terminal, which is due to begin construction in 2012 with completion by 2016. It would be built to the south of the current terminal complex with new access routes from the Seventh Ring Road to the south of the airport compound. It is designed as a three-pointed star, with each point extending 600 meters from the star's center. Two airside hotels will form part of the new building.

On 20 May 2013, The Director of Operations Management in the General Administration of Civil Aviation Essam Al-Zamil, announced that some of the flights will be diverted to Sheikh Saad Terminal instead of Kuwait Airport's main terminal, starting in July. He said that due to the large number of passengers and the growing number of aircraft, Kuwait Airport is over capacity. "This will be temporary until the new Terminal finishes in 2016" said Al-Zamil.[4]

New terminal[edit]

In 2011 the Department of Civil Aviation announced the intention of extending Kuwait International Airport so it can handle more passengers and more aircraft. In December 2012 the Kuwaiti Ministry of Public Works announced that the new Terminal at the Kuwait International Airport will be completed by the end of 2016, estimating the cost to be around 900 million Kuwaiti Dinar ($3.2 billion). As of June 2014, the firm have quit the project due to several reasons with the project half-way complete.[5] In August 2014, the project is back on track with 3 new companies bidding.[6]


The airport resides at an elevation of 206 feet (63 m) above mean sea level. It has two runways: 15R/33L with a concrete surface measuring 3,600 m × 50 m (11,810 ft × 160 ft) and 15L/33R with an asphalt surface measuring 4,120 m × 60 m (13,520 ft × 200 ft).[1]

Airlines and destinations[edit]

A Kuwait Airways Airbus A340 at Kuwait International Airport.
Qatar Airways Airbus A320 at the Kuwait International Airport.
The traditional roof of the car park at the airport.


The following airlines offer scheduled passenger service:[7][8]

Airlines Destinations Terminal
Adria Airways Seasonal: Ljubljana 1
Air Arabia Sharjah 1
Air Arabia Egypt Alexandria-Borg el Arab 1
Air Cairo Alexandria-Borg el Arab, Assiut, Sohag 1
Air Koryo Seasonal: Pyongyang 1
Air Go Airlines Alexandria-Borg el Arab, Sharm el-Sheikh, Sohag 1
Air India Ahmedabad, Chennai, Hyderabad, Goa 1
Air India Express Bahrain, Kozhikode, Mangalore 1
Ata Airlines Mashhad 1
AtlasJet Istanbul-Atatürk 1
Biman Bangladesh Airlines Chittagong, Dhaka 1
B&H Airlines Seasonal: Sarajevo 1
British Airways London-Heathrow 1
Bulgaria Air Seasonal: Bourgas, Sofia, Varna 1
Bulgarian Air Charter Seasonal: Bourgas, Varna 1
Cebu Pacific Manila[9] 1
EgyptAir Alexandria-Borg el Arab, Cairo, Luxor, Sharm el-Sheikh, Sohag 1
Emirates Dubai-International 1
Ethiopian Airlines Addis Ababa 1
Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi 1
Flydubai Dubai-International Sheikh Saad
Flynas Jeddah, Medina, Riyadh, Taif 1
Freebird Airlines Seasonal: Antalya 1
Gulf Air Bahrain, Istanbul-Atatürk,[10] Larnaca[11] 1
Iran Air Ahwaz, Isfahan, Lar, Mashhad, Shiraz 1
Iran Aseman Airlines Ahwaz, Lamerd, Mashhad, Shiraz 1
Iraqi Airways Baghdad, Najaf 1
Jazeera Airways Alexandria-Borg el Arab, Amman-Queen Alia, Assiut, Bahrain, Beirut, Cairo, Dubai-Al Maktoum, Dubai-International, Istanbul-Atatürk, Jeddah, Luxor, Mashhad, Najaf, Riyadh, Sohag 1
Jet Airways Abu Dhabi, Chennai, Mumbai 1
Jordan Aviation Amman-Queen Alia 1
KLM Amsterdam, Dammam 1
Kuwait Airways Abu Dhabi, Ahmedabad (resumes 1 September 2015),[12] Alexandria-Borg El Arab, Amman-Queen Alia, Bahrain, Bangalore (resumes 1 September 2015)[13], Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi, Beirut, Cairo, Chennai, Colombo-Bandaranaike, Dammam, Delhi, Dhaka, Doha, Dubai-International, Frankfurt, Geneva, Islamabad, Jakarta-Soekarno-Hatta, Istanbul-Atatürk (resumes 13 July 2015),[13] Jeddah, Kochi, Kuala Lumpur, Lahore, London-Heathrow, Manila, Medina, Mumbai, Munich (resumes 16 July 2015),[14] Muscat, Najaf, New York-JFK, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Riyadh, Rome-Fiumicino, Sharm el-Sheikh, Sohag, Tehran-Imam Khomeini, Thiruvananthapuram
Seasonal: Sarajevo, Vienna
Lufthansa Frankfurt 1
Mahan Air Mashhad, Shiraz, Tehran-Imam Khomeini 1
Meraj Airlines Mashhad 1
Middle East Airlines Beirut 1
Nile Air Alexandria-Borg el Arab, Luxor 1
Oman Air Muscat 1
Pakistan International Airlines Islamabad, Lahore, Peshawar, Sialkot 1
Pegasus Airlines Istanbul-Sabiha Gökçen 1
Qatar Airways Doha 1
Rotana Jet Abu Dhabi 1
Royal Jordanian Amman-Queen Alia 1
Saudia Jeddah, Medina, Riyadh 1
Shaheen Air Lahore 1
SriLankan Airlines Colombo-Bandaranaike 1
Tunisair Tunis 1
Turkish Airlines Istanbul-Atatürk, Istanbul-Sabiha Gökçen 1
United Airlines Bahrain, Washington-Dulles 1
Yemenia Mukalla, Sana'a 1
Zagros Airlines Mashhad 1


Airlines Destinations
Air Atlanta Icelandic Seasonal: Reykjavík
Cargolux Hanoi, Hong Kong, Luxembourg
Star Air Aviation Karachi[15]
DHL Aviation Bahrain
Etihad Cargo Abu Dhabi, Sharjah
Martinair Cargo Amsterdam, Dubai-Al Maktoum
TMA Cargo Beirut, Dubai-Al Maktoum
Turkish Airlines Cargo Dhaka, Istanbul-Atatürk
Qatar Airways Cargo Dhaka, Doha, Lahore

Airport statistics[edit]

2008-August 2013[16]

Year Commercial Aircraft Non-Commercial Aircraft Passengers Freight (in metric tonnes)
2009 78,597 19,963 8,125,747 197,213
2010 79,350 14,927 8,332,857 208,295
2011 71,519 13,598 8,466,737 195,066
2012 75,588 9,979 8,877,883 181,413
2013 78,135 6,796 9,376,618 176,261
2014 (upto Aug ) 55,150 6,916,921 124,974
2015 (Jan) 8,300 998,000 14,000

Accidents and incidents[edit]

  • A Douglas DC-6 belonging to Yemen Airlines was hijacked by one person on 25 August 1973 during a flight from Taiz to Asmara. After making a refueling stop in Djibouti, the aircraft was taken to Kuwait where the hijacker surrendered.[17]
  • On 17 December 1973, a terrorist attack on Rome's Fiumicino Airport ended by the terrorists hijacking a Lufthansa Boeing 737-100 that was preparing to depart to Munich. The aircraft was taken to Kuwait where the hijackers surrendered one day later.[18]
  • A Middle East Airlines Boeing 707 was hijacked by one person during a flight from Beirut to Baghdad on 5 June 1977. The ordeal ended in Kuwait by storming the aircraft and arresting the hijacker.[19]
  • Two hijackers demanding money surrendered after hijacking a Kuwait Airways Boeing 737-200 during a flight from Beirut on 24 July 1980.[20]
  • On 2 August 1990, British Airways Flight 149 carrying 349 passengers landed at Kuwait International Airport just four hours after the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, leading to the capture of the passengers and crew. The Boeing 747-100 aircraft was looted by the Iraqis and destroyed. All passengers and crew were reported safe. A McDonnell Douglas DC-9 belonging to the Kuwait Air Force was also destroyed in the airport. It is believed that during the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait many of the planes belonging to Kuwait Airways were stolen from the airport and stored in different locations in Iraq, some of which were later destroyed by allied bombings in 1991.
  • A USMC McDonnell Douglas AV-8B Harrier II crash-landed at Kuwait International Airport on 25 February 1991 after being hit by ground fire during the Kuwait Liberation War.[21]
  • On 10 December 1999, three US military personnel died when a USAF Lockheed C-130 Hercules made a hard emergency landing at Kuwait International Airport after sustaining damage from landing short of the runway at nearby Jaber al-Ahmad Airbase.[15]



  1. ^ a b Airport information for OKBK from DAFIF (effective October 2006)
  2. ^ Airport information for KWI at Great Circle Mapper. Source: DAFIF (effective Oct. 2006).
  3. ^ "History". Kuwait International Airport. Retrieved 30 September 2014. 
  4. ^ "Diverted flights to Sheikh Saad Terminal". iNews Arabia. 20 May 2013. 
  5. ^ "Firms quit Kuwait airport project; second terminal put on hold". Zawya. 15 June 2014. Retrieved 16 August 2014. 
  6. ^ "Three more companies bid for airport project". Arab Times. 26 August 2014. Retrieved 30 August 2014. 
  7. ^ "Kuwait International Airport Timetable". Schedules Section, Air Transport Department, DGCA. 2010-10-26. 
  8. ^ "Air Koryo". Retrieved 4 April 2014. 
  9. ^ Rodriguez, Jon Carlos (16 June 2014). "Cebu Pacific to mount flights to Sydney, Kuwait". ABS-CBN News and Current Affairs. Retrieved 16 June 2014. 
  10. ^ http://www.menafn.com/1093952363/Gulf-Air-to-start-KuwaitIstanbul-services?src=RSS
  11. ^ "Gulf Air Extens Kuwait - Istanbul Operation; Adds Larnaca Link in W14". Airline Route. 1 October 2014. Retrieved 1 October 2014. 
  12. ^ "Kuwait Airways Resumes Ahmedabad Service from Sep 2015". Airline Route. 6 March 2015. Retrieved 6 March 2015. 
  13. ^ a b "Kuwait Airways Resumes Istanbul; Adds Bangalore Service in S15". airlineroute.net/. Retrieved 4 March 2015. 
  14. ^ "Kuwait Airways Resumes Munich Service from July 2015". Airline Route. 26 February 2015. Retrieved 28 February 2015. 
  15. ^ a b http://www.starairaviation.net/air_cargo.html
  16. ^ "Kuwait International Airport Statistics". Statistics Section, Air Transport Department, DGCA. 2013-08-05. 
  17. ^ [1], Aviation Safety Network.
  18. ^ [2], Aviation Safety Network.
  19. ^ [3], Aviation Safety Network.
  20. ^ [4], Aviation Safety Network.
  21. ^ [5], Aviation Safety Network.
  22. ^ [6], Aviation Safety Network.

External links[edit]