Jazeera Airways Gets Approval for New Airport Terminal

Post by Mark

Jazeera Airways has been granted approval by the Kuwait Council of Ministers for land to build a dedicated passenger terminal and car park buildings at Kuwait International Airport.

The terminal is a solution proposed by the airline to help ease the congestion at Kuwait International Airport, the country’s only primary airport, which is currently operating over capacity.

The project’s investment value is KD14 million ($46.232), and its total construction time frame is 15 months, including the permits acquisitions phase.

The terminal is part of the airline’s ‘Next Big Thing’ series of value boosting projects and initiatives tasked with creating a better travel experience on ground and in the air. Other initiatives include a remote check-in facility, in-flight broadband internet, a business class lounge, and long-haul flights. [Source]

Rumors of a dedicated Jazeera Airways terminal had been floating around for years and it looks like they finally got the approval from the government. Until the new terminal is built, Jazeera Airways are setting up a remote check-in station for the current airport:

Remote Check-in
Jazeera are building a check-in facility two minutes away from the main airport terminal. You arrive at the facility where parking valets will meet you, unload your baggage and then park your car for you. You then check in your baggage at this facility and get your boarding pass before being shuttled to the main terminal where you can head straight to immigration. The idea here is that you’ll bypass the airports congestion by skipping the whole parking and check-in process at the main terminal. They’ve already started construction on this facility and it should be operational by the end of this year. [Source]

So if I am to understand this correctly, we will end up having a total of 4 different terminals. We have the current main terminal at the Kuwait International Airport, the Sheikh Saad terminal, the huge new terminal that will start construction soon and now the Jazeera terminal. Nice.


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Construction of New Kuwait Airport to Begin September

Post by Mark

According to a source of mine, the Ministry of Public Works announced that the consortium of Al Kharafi and the Turkish firm Limak will begin construction on the new airport from September 1st. The project contract states that construction would take six years but Limak have stated they would have it completed in just four and half years. So if everything goes according to plan, the new airport should be ready in 2021.


[YouTube]

Thanks KB


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Traveling for Eid?

Post by Mark

eidtravel

Make sure you get to the airport super early and email me photos from the airport if it looks insanely overpacked like the picture above which was taken this past weekend.

Update: A reader @BoozAzzouz took the photo below earlier today, I’m guessing you’re going to have to get to the airport at least 3-4 hours earlier to make sure you don’t miss your flight.

longline


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Security Screening Updates at the Kuwait Airport

Post by Mark

According to a recent news report on Al Rai, the Kuwait Airport have updated the security screening stations on departure. The airport increased the security stations from a previous total of four to a new total of six. One station for first/business class passengers as well as flight crew, two for GCC residents and three machines now for expats.

airportsecurity

On a related note, Kuwait Airways no longer flies direct to New York but instead has to stop in Ireland for a security check before continuing to the States. I understood that it’s due to the poor security checks at the Kuwait Airport. United Airlines stopped their Kuwait – Washington route earlier this year and one of the rumored reasons was because of poor airport security and it makes sense now. Last year there were also rumors that British Airways would halt all flights from Kuwait unless security at the airport was improved.


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New Airport Will Be Completed Within 6 Years

Post by Mark

airport

Kuwait has awarded a KD 1.3bn ($4.3bn) contract to Turkish firm Limak Construction – the lowest bidder – to construct the new passenger terminal at the Kuwait International Airport.

The 708,000 square metre new passenger terminal will have the capacity to handle 25 million passengers per year.

It will also be able to accommodate all aircraft types through 51 gates and stands with the ability to serve 21 A380 jumbo jets simultaneously.

The terminal is scheduled for completion in six years, a statement said. The contract also includes the provision of maintenance for an additional two years. [Source]

Even though I heard there was a bit on controversy since the project was awarded to a firm previously disqualified, at least we’re finally going to get a new airport!


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CityBus Airport Express

Post by Mark

CityBus launched a new bus service that starts all the way in Fahaheel, passing
through Mangaf, Abu Halifa, Mahboula and Fintas before arriving at the final destination, the Kuwait airport. They’re calling it the X1 route and it costs just 500 fils to get to the airport from all the way in Fahaheel.

airport

The service also runs 24/7 with a bus coming by every 30 minutes between 4AM to midnight and then every 60 minutes from midnight to 4AM. Not bad, and I’m guessing they’ll most likely be adding more routes to the airport to cover other areas as well. For more info including the bus stop location guide you can check out their Facebook page [Here]


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New Queue System at Airport Passport Control

Post by Mark

airportline2

Last night when I got back to Kuwait from a quick trip to Doha I noticed they changed the queue system at passport control.

When I came down the escalators I noticed majority of the immigration counters were practically empty which was a relief since I really didn’t want to spend an hour in line. But then as I got closer I noticed something odd. On the far left was a large crowd of expats, when I looked carefully I noticed all the empty counters were for GCC nationals and that expats needed to enter a queue on the far left.

airportline1

So I got into the queue which truthfully was moving fast. It was one long queue that served all the expat counters which is something I prefer over having individual queues for each counter. It’s actually been proven to be more efficient which is why it’s used in other countries. There was an officer at the end of the end of the queue who was directing the expats to available counters as they free up. It’s like finally, a proper system.

But, I had a major issue was with the visual appearance of the passport control area (put aside the floor tiles that wouldn’t look out of place in a bathroom). My big issue was how they had the large wide open space for GCC nationals and then had all the expats squeezed into the far left corner like cattle (check below illustration for an overhead look).

queue

I don’t mind there be more counters for GCC nationals over expats, but at least have the expats queue wider and take up more space. Right now the expats are squeezed into 25% of the space while the other 75% is left open for GCC nationals. It really looked degrading the way we were all squeezed off to the side and it’s definitely not a great first impression for visitors on arrival.


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New Airport Long Term Parking Extension

Post by Mark

parkingextension

Ok ok so it’s not really an extension but, just to give you an idea of how bad the situation in the long term parking has gotten, they’re now having cars park in the pedestrian walkway in the long term parking lot.

They’re going to have to construct a new multistory parking lot but that would mean they’d have to close the parking lot during that process which will be annoying so I have another idea. How about turning an empty lot of land near the airport into a parking lot and then have a shuttle bus service to and from the airport?


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New Immigration Counters at the Airport

Post by Mark

airport

Supposedly service is better as well. I wonder if they’re still allowed to be on their phones?


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Poll Results: Are you traveling for National Day?

Post by Mark

nope

I’m assuming the vast majority are choosing not to travel this year because the holiday falls on a weekend.


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