DUBAI – Wataniya Airways, the first new full-service luxury airline to be launched in the Middle East in recent years, announced its first scheduled flights will be to Dubai, commencing Saturday, January 24, 2009. The airline, which is headquartered in Kuwait, will operate twice daily to Dubai from that date forward.

Wataniya Airways CEO George Cooper said that the announcement was the successful culmination of more than a year’s careful and complex preparation, “I am delighted that we will be flying to Dubai from the 24th of January onwards as Dubai is a primary business and touristic hub in the Middle East. There has been a long and close relationship between Kuwait and Dubai, and it is therefore fitting that this should be the first destination for Wataniya Airways.”

Paul Sies, commercial director of Wataniya Airways said, “Wataniya Airways has appointed leading aviation, hospitality, and travel advisor, Planet Group, as its general sales agent (GSA) in Dubai. The internationally-recognized group with varied business interests has received international acclaim for its continuous drive to deliver quality services and is an ideal partner to deliver luxury air travel to Wataniya Airways’ guests.”

“The launch of a new premium airline is an exciting time for aviation business enthusiasts, as well as business and leisure travelers who are looking for a new standard in air travel,” said George Moussa, chairman of Planet Group. “We are pleased to be working with the Wataniya Airways team in Dubai and bring our local market expertise and service to this winning equation.”

The new premium airline’s luxury arrival point in Kuwait will be the Royal Terminal, which provides a fitting setting for what will be a superior guest service both on the ground and in the air. It will be the first time that any commercial flight in Kuwait has taken off from a location other than Kuwait International Airport and the announcement comes after gaining approval from the directorate general of civil aviation to use the prestigious luxury Royal Terminal as its base for operations.

The airline’s new aircraft, which are all Airbus 320 models, will be configured with the lowest seat density of any A320 used on scheduled routes in the world. Each aircraft will feature 122 seats, compared with the 145 that a number of leading European airlines use on their A320s, ensuring excellent leg room and comfort throughout its first-class and premium-economy seats.

Wataniya Airways will be the first in the region to install revolutionary, cutting-edge technology on board its new luxury aircraft providing travelers with unparalleled choice for in-flight entertainment and special facilities that will appeal to both leisure and business guests. The personal entertainment selection will create an outstanding personal home theatre experience and the new aircraft technology will provide first-class guests additional features by allowing them to plug their iPods (or similar MP3 devices) directly into sockets located in their seat.

And for the first time ever in the region, busy travelers can send and receive SMSs and emails on their mobile phones and Blackberries using OnAir innovative technology. The ability to use and recharge personal communications devices, including laptops, on Wataniya Airways planes will be an added value to business and leisure travelers.

Wataniya Airways new fleet will also be fitted with individually-crafted German Recaro leather seating that provides the ultimate in comfort, suiting the short-haul flight business model in their first and premium economy classes and which are generally reserved for high-end luxury sports cars lines like Porsche, Ferrari, and Lamborghini.