After spending Christmas in France, time to go to Africa. From Paris, countless options link JNB. One way trip with reasonable fare during the festive season sounded like a utopian scheme, so i departed from Rome.
Going to FCO can be easily done from Paris with 148 frequencies offered weekly by 6 airlines departing from three different airports (BVA, CDG and ORY). Thus i chose the cheapest C option available : Kuwait Airways
Upon booking, the website promised a four holer raising some mixed feelings: What is the best between flying the classic AB6 or getting a newer cabin on their A340? Later on, the departing schedule got postponed for 30 minutes, always nice when the flight is early in the morning.
Promising an A340
On the D-day the alarm clock went off at 4h30 for an one hour ride in a RER B to CDG 1. I must admit that the last visit of this terminal dated back from the dawn of the airlines alliance era in 1998, Korean Air not in Skyteam yet operated from there to Kimpo Airport…
At the RER station Laplace, Charles De Gaulle means Orly
As i'm not a first time visitor, going to Orly led me to Roissy
Sad for SN, out of the Hall 4
Near the counters, two smiling staffs employed by Alyzia checked the travelling documents and the eligibility of the premium lanes. Because of the American mum and her offspring, the agent invited me to process in no time at the First Class counter.
Dedicated premium desks
Flight information sheet
First Class treatment again ;-)
It is safe to say that there is nothing you can’t find in the over priced ADP shopping mall, more adapted to the bottomless wallets. So i quickly gave up the window shopping.
Circular shopping mall
With not much to do, I set off to the nicely named Salon Premiere Air France lounge. To be honest this was a generic lounge with nothing much to write home about, of course i did not expect the quality of the T2E La Première sanctuary but with this adjective i had expected a better food offering and environment.
Ring the bell to enter
An erractic Internet connection
Snacks available in most of AF flights
No fruit on offer
Nicolas Feuillate to start this day !
The numerous pictures taken drew the attention of other guests previously seen while checking-in and the lady asked questions about the details needed in that lounge. Following a nice chat, she revealed me that CDG was far to be convenient to find direction. I'd ventured to help them despite not having visited T1 for the last 15 years.
Security checks made through File N°1 were smooth, then i tried to spot few aircrafts but nothing exceptional.
The beauty named after the oilfield AL-RWADHATAIN
The Alyzia staff called for boarding regardless the travelling class, so i was in the middle of the herd. Quickly a nice female attendant, helped by Imad Farhat, welcomed us on board.
« Al-Khutout Al-Jawwiya Al-Kuwaitiyah » is the national airline of the Kuwait, it has been launched in 1954 and flies a fleet of 17 aircrafts to 39 destinations across 3 continents. Few days after booking, a fire started on one of theirs A300 in Jeddah, raising many doubts about the seriousness of their maintenance.
Kuwait Airways KU166 Paris Roissy CDG – Rome Fuimicino FCO Distance: 685 miles Airbus A300B4-605R 9K-AME ETD/ETA: 9h15 – 11h20 ATD/ATA: 9h17 – 11h10
I settled down quickly in the 7A before moving forward to 6A. Upon booking you can select your seat preference but once it done you can not change it.
From the 6A
One of the lovely crew member looking after the C class named Jean Gaptandan came to collect my jacket and then the protocol of service began like that:
1) Welcome drinks 2) Newspapers 3) Oshiboris 4) Pitted and dried dates 5) Delicious Arabian coffee 6) Drink order for the flight meal
(Orange, tropical cocktail, tomato, mango and water)
(French, english et arabic)
Weak and nice coffee
Once all doors closed and locked, there were 3/18 guests in First, 10/18 in Business and full house in Economy meaning an overall load factor of 208/232 quite reflecting the peak season activity.
Safety announcements and call to prayer for Allah Akbar in English and Arabic.
Take off video:
Also nicknamed the flying saucer
Business class is layed out in 2-2-2 spread over 3 rows, there was a nonoperational cathodic ray screen in the bulkhead and color scheme was a bit old fashioned.
Quickly a meal was served, it looked like a lunch more than a breakfast. First was brought over a cold drink then a single choice two courses tray with cold canapés and hot meatball and hot samosas typical from Middle East. And to conclude a dessert cart was rolled over the aisles.
Great variety of breads
Another KU route
Gorgeous mini éclair and opéra
The cradle style seat was worn out, the pitch was ok for my size (175 cm) in seat position. In relaxation mode, i felt cramped as few cms were probably missing to provide a decent comfort. There was no electrical plug nor headset given. A PTV located in the armrest was not working either. However for a 2h journey a such lacklustre entertainment system was nothing dramatic. Luckily the nice weather over the Alps enabled to get a show better than the IFE.
Pillows and blankets
Showing its age
Limited pitch for big size but recline better than AF, AZ, EZ…
one can clearly notice only 777s ;-)
Probably 4 or 5 fifth freedom routes in total?
Better than any inflight movies :-)
Then i've toured the aircraft to discover the Y section, before getting my jacket back from the nicest F/A.
2 – 4 – 2
2 – 3 – 2
Perfumes and oat milk branded Roger & Gallet
Landing on time and parking near a long hauler AZ at the T3 satellite G. Upon disembarking, i was curious to peek in the F class with the same number of seat than the C, unfortunately for you, i've been denied access in order to do not disturb the passenger continuing to Kuwait city.
Airbus A300-605 9K-AME at Rome FCO
Afterwards, for a longish 15min we were put on hold in the jetbridge without any reason given. The whole business class left the plane and 50 people in Y headed towards the Eternal City. My bag arrived third and i bade the Americans adieu.
Awaiting for the ground staff clearance
Arrived on time too :-)
Galaxy Lounge - 1
Paris - CDG
Rome - FCO
I liked it very much and would be happy to fly Kuwait Airways again. CDG T1 was nice, clean and convenient, and the lounge more than enough Rome was a rather simple affair : quick and efficient !
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It's been a while since we've seen once of your reports; good to see you back! Thanks for sharing this first FR in English on this interesting Fifth Freedom route. The lounge is decent--thank goodness you were able to get some champagne in the lounge since there's no alcohol onboard. It's too bad that KU is a dry airline because the rest of the product is clearly above the competition for this route--for a long-haul, not so much, but for a 2 hour intra-Europe flight; it's great! Welcome back!
p.s. to fix the text between the picture, simply add a space before and after.
Thanks for helping, i need to get used of this new version!
Nice to read you again on FR.
The product looks ok for a medium haul flight but if you are on a low calories diet ;)
Breakfast with champagne the day after Xmas : nice habit.
Pity KU is a dry company.
Thanks for sharing.
Thanks, it's great to discover again this Flight-Report.
Thanks for sharing this FR and welcome back
Nice business product for a two hours flight but I'd prefer a full breakfast instead of collation
Thanks evereyone !
One of the reasons is that this website does not allow GR or ground reports exclusively and the other is probably procrastination...;-)
The CDG bound sector in the afternoon might be more annoying concerning alcohol for non-muslim clients, but the FCO lounge must not be dry if you dare the J or F!
I'm not an expert but i don't think they should. Nowadays Gulf Air, which was a pionner and former leader in the Gulf Region, can not even fill an A320 to mainstream destinations such as CDG, LHR or FRA...
For the ethnic fare details, feel free to read Leadership's excellent explanation in the french version here :
Yeah that's quiet hearty indeed !
Champagne was the continuity of the eve's feast...:-)
Thanks for reading and commenting
i can only concur with you but i would guess that throughout the year, loads are not so important in this sector to provide a fine catering.
Nice report! I suddenly have the urge to book this flight the next time I am in FRA or FCO!
Very enjoyable and I thought the seats looked really comfortable! Maybe just me!
The welcome to Rome text is a very nice touch.
Very nice FR. I love the catering. :)
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