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Kuwait International Airport
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Passenger services have been catapulted onto an altogether higher plane with the opening of the first phase of the KD 18 million (US$60 million) expansion of the passenger terminal, including a spacious new Commercial Centre adjacent to the Arrival Hall, and extensive car parking facilities. Inaugurated in spring 2002, the spacious and airy 32,000 sq m extension.

Highlights of the second phase of the project -- expansion of the Departure Hall, open in mid-2003 -- include 64 new fully-automated check-in positions (bringing the total on completion to 100), state-of-the-art baggage handling systems and a raft of new concessions and facilities including, for the first time, a Kids' Zone.

The new facilities will help to ensure that KIA, handling more than 100 flights a day during the busy summer season and ranked one of the world's best airports for on-time performance, remains a model of operational efficiency. Key to that success is the "human" scale of the airport, its compact size, simple layout and excellent signage making it easy to use.

While the new passenger facilities are the most visible sign of the upgrades taking place at KIA, behind the scenes other, no less vital, investments are serving to cement the DGCA's reputation for excellence.

New-look shops and an expanded range of product lines are adding value to Duty Free shopping at Kuwait International Airport, ranked among the finest in the Middle East. The award-winning Duty Free, totally overhauled during 2001 at a cost of KD500,000 (US$1.6 million), is now in an even better position to cater for its multinational customer mix as it moves towards creating the ultimate fly-buy shopping experience for KIA.

In the main Duty Free store -- situated at the centre of the main terminal on the departure level the primary focus has been to open up the floor area, creating clear sightlines by removing counters and installing enlarged entrances and windows.

The ultra-sleek decor has been designed to be modern, yet welcoming and generating a high-quality aura.

Most departments are now self-service, with passengers positively encouraged to touch, pick up, smell and try the products.

Great care has been taken to maintain free access, the various departments being staggered so that the passenger flow is effectively funneled through the main body of the shop. Removal of the counters has also successfully freed up space for additional product lines.

The current inventory shows more than 50,000 individual items, enabling KIA Duty Free to further improve its brand coverage and concentrate on fast moving lines -- cigarettes and food, for example -- which are now located at opposite ends of the store.

Competitive prices are already augmented by monthly discount promotions throughout the store.

Promotional leaflets are distributed to departing passengers at the airport, Another initiative aimed at better serving its loyal customer base- many of who pre-order their shopping by phone or email before they fly- is KIA Duty Free's new website where Internet- enabled customers can browse the entire product catalogue.

Kuwait International Airport is located in Al-Maqwa, Kuwait, near Kuwait City.

It has the IATA Airport Code KWI and the ICAO Airport Code OKBK. It is the hub of Kuwait Airways.

Kuwait International Airport can currently handle six million passengers a year. Recently, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation has announced that a new terminal has begun construction, and will increase the annual passenger handling amount to fourteen million. Terminal II is due for completion by the end of 2007.


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