Today, the Middle East is one of the world’s fastest growing commercial airplane markets, and its countries’ defense needs are rapidly expanding. Boeing values its partnerships in the region and is committed to building on those relationships for mutual benefit into the future.
Boeing shares a long-standing relationship with Kuwait, which is home to Kuwait Airways and Jazeera Airways.
For more than 50 years, Boeing has partnered with Kuwait, providing aircraft to meet both the commercial and military needs of the country. Boeing is proud of these relationships and remains committed to a future of meeting the needs of commercial aviation while supporting the country’s defense requirements. The company currently has more than 45 employees based in Kuwait who are providing service support and training.
Kuljit Ghata-Aura was appointed president of Boeing Middle East, North Africa and Turkey in September 2021. He is responsible for coordinating all companywide activities in the region and developing and implementing country and regional strategies. Ghata- Aura is based in Dubai, UAE.
In 2021, Boeing appointed Musaed AlHawli as Managing Director for Kuwait. Based in Kuwait, AlHawli is responsible for implementation of the company's growth and productivity strategy.
Boeing Commercial Airplanes
The Middle East is an important market for commercial aviation and one of the fastest growing areas in the world. The region is uniquely suited as a global transport hub, with 80 percent of the world’s population within an eight-hour flight. The expansion of air travel has assisted economic development within the region and improved economic and social ties as well.
Boeing's history in Kuwait began in 1968 when the Kuwait Airways Company (KAC) took delivery of three 707 airliners. Since then, the airline has operated almost every type of commercial airplane produced by Boeing to provide Kuwait citizens with access to North America, Europe, Asia and India. In December 2014, Kuwait Airways finalized an order for 10 777-300ERs (Extended Range), the first of which was delivered in October 2016. The tenth aircraft, featuring four seating classes, was delivered on August 26, 2017. The 777’s unique combination of superior range, outstanding fuel efficiency and passenger-preferred comfort has created long-range success for carriers around the world.
Kuwait is also home to the Aviation Lease and Finance Company KSCC (ALAFCO), a global sharia-compliant commercial airplane leasing company. Founded in 1992 and co-owned by Kuwait Finance House and Kuwait Airways, ALAFCO provides commercial airplanes to regional carriers as well as airlines within Russia, Asia and India. ALAFCO has a portfolio of 28 Boeing aircraft and a backlog of 40 737 MAXs.
Boeing Defense, Space & Security
The Defense, Space & Security business unit of Boeing provides military aircraft, network and space systems, and services and support for Boeing and non-Boeing platforms to customers around the globe. The Defense, Space & Security presence in Kuwait can be traced back to 1974, when the Kuwaiti Air Force (KAF) ordered 36 A-4KU Skyhawks from Boeing-heritage company McDonnell Douglas.
Today, Defense, Space & Security offers its customers and partners a portfolio of products, systems, services and solutions, including products from Boeing Military Aircraft, Network & Space Systems, and Boeing Global Services.
Boeing has a long-term relationship with the KAF that spans more than 30 years. Defense, Space & Security products provided to Kuwait include AH-64D Apaches, F/A-18C/D Classic Hornets, C-17s, F/A-18 weapons tactics trainers and Harpoon Block IC missiles.
In February 2013, the U.S. government confirmed that a letter of offer and acceptance had been secured for one C-17 Globemaster III airlifter. This marked the first sale to Kuwait in a number of years (aside from sustainment contracts) and was a key milestone that signaled significant progress toward future sales in the country. The first C-17 was delivered to the Kuwaiti government in February 2014 in Long Beach, California, followed by the purchase of a second C-17, officially delivered on Nov. 6, 2014, in Kuwait.
On March 30, 2018, the government of Kuwait finalized a deal with the U.S. Government for 28 Super Hornets. The contract includes engineering services, radar warning receivers and aircraft armament equipment for the production and delivery of 22 F/A-18E single-seat and six F/A-18F two-seat Super Hornets. Boeing delivered the final Kuwait fighter to the U.S. Navy in 2021. Aircraft are planned to be ferried to Kuwait in 2023.
The US Government provided a Letter of Offer & Acceptance in 2021 for 8 new build AH-64E helicopters and the remanufacture of the current fleet of 16 Apache helicopters to the latest AH-64E configuration.
Defense, Space & Security maintains a presence in Kuwait, with Apache support personnel, F/A-18 instructor pilots and C-17 field service engineers.
Boeing Global Services
Global Services currently provides sustainment support for Kuwait’s AH-64D Apache helicopters and will provide sustainment solutions for 28 F/A-18 Super Hornets in 2023.
Boeing F/A-18 instructor pilots are in Kuwait to train the KAF, classic Hornet pilots, and further training is scheduled to take place in the U.S. in 2023.
KAF and the Ministry of Defense have also partnered with Boeing as a subcontractor to offer electronic maintenance and logistics support services (GOLDesp). Global Services also provides all maintenance and support— including field services engineers—for Kuwait’s two C-17 Globemaster III airlifters.
Boeing Capital Corporation
As a wholly owned Boeing subsidiary, Boeing Capital Corporation creates financing solutions for customers purchasing the company’s commercial airplane and defense products. As the company’s investment bank, it works closely with third-party financing sources that provide nearly all of the financing support required by Boeing customers. Boeing Capital also manages the company’s $3.5 billion portfolio of commercial jetliners.
Boeing Capital is continually strengthening its presence in the region, which is recognized as a high-growth area for commercial aviation with increasing demand for aviation financing. It regularly organizes events in the Middle East that are designed to engage the region’s finance community, and its Middle East aircraft financier and investor conference has become an annual event.
In 2015, Boeing Capital appointed Ahsen Rajput to the position of deputy managing director for the Middle East, Africa and South Asia region. Rajput is based in Abu Dhabi and is Boeing Capital’s first local hire in the region.
Boeing Capital is continuing to explore opportunities for Islamic finance in the aviation sector and the possibility of including aircraft finance in the Islamic sukuk, or bond market, in which an aircraft finance portfolio would be secured by an instrument known as the Enhanced Equipment Trust Certificate.