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Thu 28 Aug 2008 12:28 AM

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Wataniya Airways leases planes from AerCap

Kuwaiti airline start-up leases three Airbus A320s ahead of January launch.

Kuwait's Wataniya Airways said on Wednesday it has signed a deal to lease three Airbus A320 planes from Dutch aircraft leasing company AerCap.

The three aircraft have been leased for nine years as of 2010, said the firm which plans to start operations in January without giving the value of the deal.

The new aircraft would double the size of Wataniya's fleet plans to operate to six planes, said Wataniya, one of three airline firms in the Gulf Arab state.

Wataniya Airways, in which Kuwait Projects Co (KIPCO) and other corporate investors own 30 percent, wants to have at least 12 aircraft, including wide-body planes by 2012, according to a report obtained by newswire Reuters in May.

The airline will compete with loss-making state-owned Kuwait Airways Corp and Jazeera Airways, a low-cost airline.

The Gulf aviation industry is booming as surging economies spurred by record oil prices attract tourists, business people and workers to the world's top oil exporting region. (Reuters)

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