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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Are you traveling for National Day?

Post by Mark

plane-window

I should start holding this poll every year just to see if there is a drop or increase in traveling over the previous year.

Are you traveling for National and Liberation Day?







View Results

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Jazeera Airways Future Plans

Post by Mark

checkin

The Jazeera Airways 2015 Report is out and amongst all the financial data they have a section dedicated to future plans. Here are the ones that caught my attention:

Remote Check-in
Jazeera are building a check-in facility two minutes away from the main airport terminal (pictured on top). 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.

In-flight Broadband
Jazeera Airways will be the first airline to be connected with Rockwell Collins PAVES™ Cabin Wireless and next-generation Global Xpress connectivity. It’s a new technology I previously hadn’t heard about that will give passengers fast, reliable and consistent coverage while also having access to the same high quality broadband that was previously only been available on the ground. According to a press release by Rockwell Collins, this service will be active by end of the year but in the Jazeera Airways report it says winter 2017 so it could be a typo.

map

Jazeera Airways Introducing Long-Haul Flights
Starting 2018 Jazeera will be flying long-haul flights. They don’t mention which countries specifically but they have a little map with a bunch of countries on it including popular destinations like London and Paris.

One thing the report fails to mention is the dedicated Jazeera Airways terminal which I’ve been hearing about for ages. My guess is the rumored terminal is actually just the new remote check-in area and not a separate terminal similar to FlyDubai. Check out the full report [Here]

Update: Just got a couple of clarifications. A dedicated Jazeera Airways terminal is still planned, it was just left out of the report. Also in regards to broadband on flights, by Winter 2017 they mean January 2017.


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Immigration Officer Hard at Work

Post by Mark

hardatwork

Even though there were huge lines at passport control, this officer at the Kuwait Airport still found time for Farmville. Seriously you can’t make this shit up.


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Etihad Airways to the United States

Post by Mark

etihad

Ok since I’ve been drinking in the Abu Dhabi airport for the past few hours and I’ve been listening to David Bowie’s Starman on loop… I’m now in a slightly better mood. So, I figured I’d post what was actually cool about flying with Etihad to Los Angeles. This was my third trip to the U.S. in the past 6 months, the first time I flew British Airways, the second time United Airlines and this third time with Etihad.

I personally prefer as direct a flight as possible since I pop a sleeping pill and xanax combo that basically knocks me out for most of the flight. So 5 hours or 10 or 15 doesn’t make a difference for me. Stopping half way is annoying, I just want to settle down in my seat, sleep and then wake up in my destination. United Airlines was a direct flight but their planes were pretty old and they’re now no longer flying out of Kuwait.

Etihad and Emirates both have direct flights to LA but Etihad has one major advantage over Emirates. U.S. Border Control are located at the Abu Dhabi Airport. It’s so odd I’m not sure why they chose Abu Dhabi, their only other location outside of North America is in Ireland. What this means is you get all your security and visa procedures done at the Abu Dhabi airport and then once you land in the States you don’t have to go through any of it. You actually land in the US as a domestic flight, you walk out of the plane, pick up your bags and leave the airport. This is very convenient especially for those who don’t have US or Canadian passports since the immigration lines on arrival to the U.S are usually super long.

The downside of Etihad is there is a high chance you’re gonna miss a connecting flight. A lot of my friends have missed connecting flights in Abu Dhabi because their flight from Kuwait was delayed or in my case, even when my flight wasn’t delayed I still managed to miss my connecting flight to Kuwait. It’s a gamble so just make sure you know the risk.


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