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 Farwaniya 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 http://www.dgca.gov.kw
KWI is located in Kuwait
Location of airport in Kuwait
Direction Length Surface
m ft
15R/33L 3,400 11,155 Concrete
15L/33R 3,500 11,483 Asphalt
Statistics (2015)
Passengers 11,100,000 Increase

Kuwait International Airport (Arabic: مطار الكويت الدولي‎‎, IATA: KWIICAO: OKBK) is located in Farwaniya, Kuwait, 15.5 kilometers (9.6 mi) south of Kuwait City, spread over an area of 37.7 square kilometres (14.6 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] It was originally envisioned as a stop for British planes on their way to British India. 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.

In 2011 the Department of Civil Aviation announced the intention of extending Kuwait International Airport so it can handle more passengers and more aircraft. On October 3, 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 finalized formalities for the construction of the terminal, which was 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.

In December 2012, the Kuwaiti Ministry of Public Works announced that the new Terminal at the Kuwait International Airport would be completed by the end of 2016, estimating the cost to be around 900 million Kuwaiti Dinar ($3.2 billion). On May 20, 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 the Sheikh Saad Terminal instead of Kuwait Airport's main terminal starting in July due to the large number of passengers and the growing number of aircraft attributing to Kuwait Airport being over capacity. As of June 2014, the leading consortium to build the terminal had quit the project due to several reasons with construction having not started, placing the project on hold.[4] The project was subsequently re-tendered twice over the course of 2014 and 2015 but had the winning tender cancelled both times.

On May 9, 2017, the Foster + Partners-designed Terminal 2 formally broke ground and heavy construction work began on site. The terminal is being built by Turkey's Limak Holding and was originally scheduled for completion in 6.5 years, although the contractors and Kuwaiti government have made claims to deliver the project within four years.


The airport is home to the Al Mubarak Air Base which is used by the Kuwaiti Armed Forces and has been used by Italian Air Force Boeing KC-767A's since October 2014 for the fight against ISIL.[5]


The airport resides at an elevation of 204 feet (62 m) above mean sea level. It has two runways: 15R/33L with a concrete surface measuring 3,400 m × 46 m (11,155 ft × 151 ft) and 15L/33R with an asphalt surface measuring 3,500 m × 46 m (11,483 ft × 151 ft).[1]

Airlines and destinations[edit]


The following airlines offer scheduled passenger service:[6][7]

Airlines Destinations
Aegean Airlines Athens
Air Arabia Sharjah
Air Arabia Egypt Alexandria-Borg el Arab
Air Arabia Jordan Amman-Queen Alia
Air Cairo Alexandria-Borg el Arab, Assiut, Sohag
Air India Ahmedabad, Chennai, Hyderabad, Goa
Air India Express Kozhikode, Mangalore
AlMasria Universal Airlines Cairo
ATA Airlines Mashhad
AtlasJet Istanbul–Atatürk
Azerbaijan Airlines Baku
Biman Bangladesh Airlines Dhaka
Seasonal: Chittagong, Dammam
British Airways London–Heathrow
Bulgaria Air Seasonal: Bourgas, Sofia, Varna
Cham Wings Airlines Damascus, Latakia
EgyptAir Alexandria-Borg el Arab, Cairo, Luxor, Sharm el-Sheikh, Sohag
Emirates Dubai–International
Ethiopian Airlines Addis Ababa
Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi
FlyBaghdad Baghdad
flydubai Dubai-Al Maktoum,[8] Dubai-International
FlyEgypt Alexandria-Borg el Arab,[9] Assiut,[9] Sohag[9]
Flynas Jeddah, Medina, Riyadh, Taif
Gulf Air Bahrain
Iran Air Isfahan, Lar, Mashhad, Shiraz
Iran Aseman Airlines Abadan,[10] Ahwaz, Lamerd, Mashhad, Shiraz
Iraqi Airways Baghdad, Najaf
Jazeera Airways Alexandria-Borg el Arab, Amman-Queen Alia, Assiut, Bahrain, Baku, Beirut, Cairo, Dubai-Al Maktoum, Dubai-International, Istanbul-Atatürk, Jeddah, Luxor, Mashhad, Najaf, Riyadh, Sharm el-Sheikh, Sohag
Seasonal: Ta'if[11]
Jet Airways Mumbai
Kish Air Mashhad
KLM Amsterdam, Bahrain
Kuwait Airways Abu Dhabi, Ahmedabad, Amman-Queen Alia, Bahrain, Bangalore, Bangkok–Suvarnabhumi, Beirut, Cairo, Chennai, Colombo, Dammam, Delhi, Dhaka, Doha, Dubai–International, Frankfurt, Geneva, Islamabad, Istanbul–Atatürk, Jeddah, Kochi, Lahore, London–Heathrow, Manila, Mashhad, Medina, Mumbai, Munich, Muscat, Najaf, New York-JFK, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Riyadh, Rome-Fiumicino, Sharm el-Sheikh, Tehran-Imam Khomeini, Thiruvananthapuram
Seasonal: Vienna
Seasonal charter: Sarajevo[12][13]
Lufthansa Doha, Frankfurt
Mahan Air Mashhad, Shiraz, Tehran-Imam Khomeini
Meraj Airlines Mashhad
Middle East Airlines Beirut
Nile Air Cairo, Alexandria-Borg el Arab, Luxor
Oman Air Muscat
Pakistan International Airlines Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar, Sialkot
Pegasus Airlines Istanbul-Sabiha Gökçen
Philippine Airlines Manila
Qatar Airways Doha
Rotana Jet Abu Dhabi
Royal Jordanian Amman-Queen Alia
Saudia Jeddah, Medina, Riyadh
Shaheen Air Lahore
Syrian Air Damascus, Latakia
SriLankan Airlines Colombo
Taban Airlines Mashhad
Turkish Airlines Adana, Istanbul-Atatürk, Istanbul-Sabiha Gökçen
Seasonal: Antalya,[14] Bodrum,[15] Bursa,[14] Izmir,[14] Trabzon[14]
Wataniya Airways Baku, Sarajevo, Tbilisi[16]
Zagros Airlines Mashhad, Shiraz
  • ^a Air India Express' flight from Mangalore makes a stop in Bahrain but the return flight to Mangalore is direct.
  • ^b Kuwait Airways' flight to New York-JFK makes a stop in London Stansted.[17] However, the return flight from JFK is direct. Kuwait Airways does not currently have local traffic rights between Kuwait and Stansted, and between Stansted and New York.


Airlines Destinations
Air France Cargo Seasonal: Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Hong Kong
Cargolux Taipei, Hong Kong, Luxembourg, Mumbai
Cargolux Italia Seasonal: Milan-Malpensa
Star Air Aviation Karachi
DHL Aviation Bahrain
EgyptAir Cargo Seasonal: Cairo, Sharjah
Emirates SkyCargo Seasonal: Dubai-Al Maktoum
Etihad Cargo Abu Dhabi, Amsterdam, Djibouti, Dubai-Al Maktoum, Sharjah
Ethiopian Airlines Cargo Addis Ababa, Riyadh
Iran Air Cargo Tehran-Imam Khomeini
KLM Cargo Amsterdam, Dubai-Al Maktoum, Mumbai
National Air Cargo Dubai-Al Maktoum, Hong Kong, Kandahar
Turkish Airlines Cargo Dhaka, Istanbul-Atatürk
Qatar Airways Cargo Dhaka, Doha, Lahore


Departures area

2008 through 2015[18][19]

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 85,100 10,276,563 188,874
2015 93,948 11,100,000 170,239
2016 (Jan) 8,395 1,041,696 14,689

Accidents and incidents[edit]

  • On 25 August 1973, Douglas DC-6 belonging to Yemen Airlines was hijacked during a flight from Taiz to Asmara. After making a refueling stop in Djibouti, the aircraft was taken to Kuwait where the single hijacker surrendered.[20]
  • On 17 December 1973, a terrorist attack on Rome's Fiumicino Airport ended with the hijacking of 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.[21]
  • On 5 June 1977, Middle East Airlines Boeing 707 was hijacked during a flight from Beirut to Baghdad. The ordeal ended in Kuwait when the aircraft was stormed and the single hijacker was arrested.[22]
  • On 24 July 1980, two hijackers demanding money surrendered after hijacking a Kuwait Airways Boeing 737-200 during a flight from Beirut.[23]
  • 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.
  • On 25 February 1991, USMC McDonnell Douglas AV-8B Harrier II crash-landed after being hit by ground fire during the Kuwait Liberation War.[24]
  • On 27 February 1991, the airport played host to a large tank battle between U.S. and Iraqi forces during the 1st Gulf War. It is known today as the Battle of Kuwait International Airport.[25]
  • 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.[26]
  • On 12 March 2007, a Lebanese-registered Saab 340A corporate aircraft owned by First Kuwaiti Trading & Contracting was badly damaged when it struck vehicles while taxiing.[27]
  • On 6 January 2014, disgruntled passengers on board a Turkish Airlines aircraft attacked cabin crew and opened aircraft door to prevent the aircraft from returning to Istanbul after it was diverted to Kuwait due to bad weather at original destination Basra.[28]
  • On 28 January 2014, a FlyNAS aircraft wrongly entered a construction area while taxiing which led to leaving paved surface and getting stuck in sand.[29]


  1. ^ a b Airport information for OKBK from DAFIF (effective October 2006)
  2. ^ Airport information for KWI at Great Circle Mapper. Source: DAFIF (effective October 2006).
  3. ^ "History". Kuwait International Airport. Retrieved 30 September 2014. 
  4. ^ "Firms quit Kuwait airport project; second terminal put on hold". Zawya. 15 June 2014. Retrieved 16 August 2014. 
  5. ^ AirForces Monthly. Stamford, Lincolnshire, England: Key Publishing Ltd. July 2016. p. 8. 
  6. ^ "Flights Timetable | Travellers - Kuwait International Airport". Schedules Section, Air Transport Department, DGCA. 2016-04-20. 
  7. ^ [c http://www.airkoryo.com.kp/en/home "Air Koryo"] Check |url= value (help). Retrieved 4 April 2014. 
  8. ^ "flydubai to add new operations from DWC". flydubai. 4 August 2015. Retrieved 4 August 2015. 
  9. ^ a b c 2017, UBM (UK) Ltd. "Fly Egypt Files Preliminary Operation from late-May 2016". Routesonline. Retrieved 2 June 2017. 
  10. ^ "Direct flight between Abadan, Kuwait resume". 
  11. ^ 2017, UBM (UK) Ltd. "Jazeera Airways Adds Seasonal Taif Flights June - Sep 2016". Retrieved 2 June 2017. 
  12. ^ Bosnian, Flying (30 May 2017). "Bosnia and Herzegovina aviation news: ✈Kuwait-Sarajevo charter flights". Retrieved 2 June 2017. 
  13. ^ "Instagram post by MAWASEM WINGS • May 23, 2017 at 10:14am UTC". Instagram. Retrieved 2 June 2017. 
  14. ^ a b c d "Turkish Airlines Expands Kuwait Seasonal Service in S16". airlineroute. Retrieved 22 March 2016. 
  15. ^ 2017, UBM (UK) Ltd. "Turkish Airlines adds Bodrum – Kuwait flights in S17". Retrieved 2 June 2017. 
  16. ^ https://www.wataniyaairways.com/your-destinations/
  17. ^ 2017, UBM (UK) Ltd. "Kuwait Airways adds London Stansted stop for WB New York svc in S17". Retrieved 2 June 2017. 
  18. ^ "Kuwait International Airport Statistics". Statistics Section, Air Transport Department, DGCA. 2013-08-05. 
  19. ^ "طفرة في عدد المسافرين عبر المطار تجاوزت ملايين في". الوطـــن الإلكترونية. 
  20. ^ [1], Aviation Safety Network.
  21. ^ [2], Aviation Safety Network.
  22. ^ [3], Aviation Safety Network.
  23. ^ [4], Aviation Safety Network.
  24. ^ [5], Aviation Safety Network.
  25. ^ M60 vs T-62 Cold War Combatants 1956-92 Nordeen&Isby P.73
  26. ^ "Star Air Aviation (Pvt) Ltd.". Retrieved 1 June 2015. 
  27. ^ [6], Aviation Safety Network.
  28. ^ [7], Aviation Safety Network.
  29. ^ [8], Aviation Safety Network.

External links[edit]

Media related to Kuwait International Airport at Wikimedia Commons