Nonstop Low-Cost Flights Are Launching From the UK to the Gulf – With a Catch
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There’s already fierce competition between the UK and the Middle East with the ‘ME3’ of Emirates, Etihad and Qatar offering multiple daily flights from multiple airports in the UK, as well as lesser known airlines like Gulf Air, Kuwait Airways and Saudia. But a new entrant is entering the market this year, offering a new concept – low-cost flights on a narrow-body aircraft.
While you can enjoy double decker space and comfort on the ME3, Jazeera will be flying direct from London (LGW) to Kuwait City (KWI) from 27 October 2019 this year. They will operate the service on a small, narrow-body Airbus A320 neo aircraft which is the only airline in their fleet that has the range to make the journey non-stop.
The scheduled flight time is almost six hours on the outbound leg and a whopping seven hours and five minutes on the return, which is quite a stretch of time to be on the confined space of a small aircraft. While Kuwait is not known as a popular tourist destination in itself, Jazeera will be offering connection onto the likes of Dubai (DXB), Cairo (CAI) and Abu Dhabi (AUH) which are more well-known tourist destinations.
While they promise low-cost pricing from just £370 return, their competitors, especially if you want to fly onwards to other destinations, depending on the time of year can offer flights at the same or cheaper prices. Jazeera sits somewhere between low-cost and more of a hybrid model like Norwegian or JetBlue – baggage and IFE is included, however you’ll need to pay for seat assignment, and all food and drinks. Jazeera also offers a business class cabin. The airline advertises 31″ inches which is standard for a hybrid airline model.
Their competitors in the region can additionally offer more frequencies, loyalty programs, food drinks and wifi. Jazeera, who promote themselves as ‘Kuwait’s largest private airline’ may have to price far more aggressively to draw people away from the likes of Emirates and Qatar.
Improvements in fuel efficiency and engine technology have made flights of this length possible – airlines love them because the smaller planes are easier to fill although for passengers they may prefer to comfort and space of a wide-body aircraft especially if they like to stretch their legs during the flight. Airbus recently unveiled the Airbus A321XLR which can travel transatlantic flights with ease and may even be the aircraft type selected by JetBlue for their highly anticipated new flights to London from 2021.
Though this will be the first low-cost flight from the UK to the Gulf region, there are already low-cost airlines flying into the Middle East from Europe. Low-cost giant Ryanair have commenced flights to Jordan (AMM) from mainland Europe, though not from the UK. Easyjet also have an flight from London (LGW) to Aqaba (AQA) also in Jordan as well as flights to Egypt.
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