Kuwait International Airport Closer

Kuwait International Airport became the 30th airport outside of Indonesia which I visited. Precisely in Terminal 4, I started to introduce myself to a side of this beautiful airport. Terminal 4 itself is the official mainhub of Kuwait Airways, which in that time I chose as transportation mode to leave Bahrain.

Arrival Hall

Kuwait Airways KU 614 stopped at airport apron.

Smoothly landing in a runway on 13:35 hours, I couldn’t wait to reach airport ground floor.

Like a modern airport, exit from plane through aerobridge.
Terminal 4 building with three floors.

Turning to right from aerobridge, a carpeted corridor often featured the Emir face of Kuwait, i.e Sabah IV Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah who waving his hand as if to say “Welcome to Kuwait“.

The next corridor led to arrival hall.

I was ready to entering the screening gate to reach transfer hall. My traveling habit which didn’t use a belt and usually put a passport, money, watch, camera, smartphone and mineral water bottle in a small folding bag, kept me from being as busy as other passengers who were always nervous when entering screening area with fast tempo.

I wasn’t against confiscation of my mineral water bottle, because I was sure it would be easy to find a free water station at an international airport which was almost a century old.

I started to entering duty free zone with camera in hand. Of course there wasn’t waiter who greeted me who just brought a backpack on my back. Yes, that was it. I didn’t bring anything for my 21 days adventure except 5 t-shirts, 2 trousers, 1 shorts and I even used disposable panties for my underware, practically disposable and then just threw it into rubbish bin after was used. I was very light backpacker. All of my friend called me “Crazy backpacker“.

Duty free zone.

Departure Hall

Still on the 1st floor, after duty free zone, I was faced directly to departure area with 5 departure gates coded B1 to B5.

Departure gate 1st floor.

On this floor was provided Al Mubarakiya Lounge for anyone who wanted to relax waiting for their flight. I myself only used gate B1 when waiting for airline shuttle bus to go to Safir Airport Hotel which was a free gift from Kuwait Airways to me during transit.

Gate B1.
Cafe Coco near gate B1.

Meanwhile, in early hours of next morning, when I was about to fly with Kuwait Airways KU 621 to Doha, I used facilities along departure gate D1-D8 on 2nd floor. I still remembered when I slept on a long green sofa a day before and was approached by a policeman dressed in white like an angel who escorted me on luck getting a free staying at Safir Airport Hotel.

Sofa on 2nd floor.
Flying to Qatar via gate D8.

Airport Apron and Cargo Area

Come on, let’s took a peek at airport outside. I managed to freely see it when I boarded airline shuttle bus to Safir Airport Hotel. Only 10 minutes long, I slowly crossed the cargo area. This was the first time to directly see cargo loading process when passing cargo planes.

Turkish Airlines Cargo.
Cargo area.

As a result of Air Force base development, Kuwait International Airport still shared space with Abdullah Al-Mubarak Air Base. The base itself was at east of the airport, next to Safir Airport Hotel where I stayed.

Alenia C-27J Spartan military transport aircraft.

Lounge

As an airport which had passenger capacity of more than nine million passengers per year, apart from providing 5 terminal areas, lounge facilities are a lucrative business. Besides Al Mubarakiya Lounge, Kuwait International Airport also provides Bayan Lounge on the 2nd floor.

Bayan Lounge near gate D8.

Toilet

Well, in the last section, let’s see how airport toilets look like. Here it is:

Clean and fragrant.
Toilet on 2nd floor.

That’s a brief overview of Kuwait International Airport, especially Terminal 4.

Okay….Time to flying to Doha.

Kuwait Airways KU 614 from Bahrain to Kuwait

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KU 614 flight route (source: https://www.radarbox.com/)

Exactly on five in the morning I started to wash my body in the bathroom of Bahrain Plaza Hotel. That day, I would leave Bahrain and heading to Kuwait. After making sure all equipments wasn’t left behind, I went down to the first floor to hand over the key and headed to the nearest bus shelter. Not far, just three hundred meters at south of the hotel, right in front of Manama Cemetery.

Ten minutes later, the bus from MAN manufacturer numbered A1 arrived. Entering from its front door and tapping Go Card to pay the fare worth BHD 0.300, I drove to Bahrain International Airport for the next a hour.

Arriving at the airport on 07:45 hours, I went straight to 1st floor. Its check-in area wan’t better than the same counter owned by Halim Perdanakusuma Airport (second airport in Jakarta). The flight number which didn’t appeared yet on the Departure Hall LCD gave me time to exchange the remaining Bahraini Dinar (BHD). Apparently the money changer on the 1st floor didn’t want to accept small amount of Dinar, fortunately the Bahrain Financing Company (BFC) on the 0th floor was still willing to accept it.

On 9:30 hours, the check-in counter for Kuwait Airways flight KU 614 began to open. I briefly explained that I was going to Qatar with two non-connecting flights and would transit in Kuwait. The young male staff only once asked me about the Qatar Visa. “Qatar visa is free for Indonesian, Sir“, I answered to ending the conversation and he gave two tickets with the blue bird logo at once. The ticket itself I ordered on nine months before departure.

Kuwait Airways was the 27th airline which I boarded.

Smoothly passing through the immigration counter, I immediately headed to Gate 15 which was located in the corner of departure waiting hall with a narrow hallway which connects to the aerobridge. Waiting for boarding time, I continued to observe the flow of Gulf Air, a well-known airline belonging to the Kingdom of Bahrain.

Departure waiting room.

A little late, I started boarding on 11:51 hours. Couldn’t wait to experience the first time flying with Kuwait Airways, the airline belonging to the Kingdom of Kuwait.

Late for a hour.
Business Class.
Economy Class.

Immediately took a seat as stated on the boarding pass and preparing for a short flight of 420 km which would be covered in 1 hour 10 minutes.

Seat number 17A was where I sat.
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Alburaq inflight magazine.

It appeared that some of the airline’s aircrew were from the Philippines and some from African region. During the flight, I noticed that alcohol bottles weren’t visible on food trolley, it looked like the Kuwait Airways flight was an alcohol-free flight…..It was cool.

Watching “The Martian“.
The Low Fat Meal (LFML) menu which I ordered together with the ticket order.

That afternoon the air on the southwest bank of Persian Gulf was clear. This made my flight felt very smooth, with no turbulence at all. Nice flight.

Sunny weather in early January.
How did the feel, flying with Middle East people?.

DIn the last quarter of flight, the plane began to lower and revealed the land of Kuwait which looked arid and hot. I myself couldn’t wait to get to know Kuwait International Airport which was the main hub of Kuwait Airways.

Middle East mainland which typical sandy brown.
Busyness at Terminal 2 Expansion Project.
Kuwait city view.

The time was 13:35 hours. After the plane came to a perfect stop, I immediately left the fuselage for Transit Hall of Kuwait International Airport. I would patiently wait until four o’clock on the next morning to heading to Qatar.

A320-251N Neo Generation of Airbus

Next Story—->

Kuwait International Airport Lebih Dekat

Kuwait International Airport menjadi bandara di luar Indonesia ke-30 yang ku kunjungi . Tepatnya di Terminal 4, aku mulai mengenalkan diri dengan salah satu sisi bandara apik ini. Terminal 4 sendiri merupakan mainhub resmi milik Kuwait Airways yang kali ini kupilih sebagai moda trasportasi untuk meninggalkan Bahrain.

Arrival Hall

Kuwait Airways KU 614 merapat di parking lot.

Mendarat dengan mulus di salah satu runway pada pukul 13:35, aku sudah tak sabar ingin menjejak langkah di lantai bandara.

Layaknya bandara modern, keluar pesawat melalui aerobridge.
Tampak bangunan Terminal 4 dengan tiga lantai.

Berbelok ke kanan dari aerobridge, koridor tak berkarpet itu dengan seringnya menampilkan wajah Emir Kuwait Sabah IV Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah yang tampak melambaikan tangan seakan mengucap “Selamat Datang di Kuwait”.

Koridor berkutnya menuju Arrival Hall.

Aku sudah siap memasuki screening gate menuju Transfer Hall. Kebiasaanku bertraveling tanpa ikat pinggang dan meletakkan passport, uang, jam tangan, kamera, handphone dan sebotol air mineral pada folding bag kecil, membuatku tak sesibuk penumpang lain yang selalu gelagapan ketika memasuki area screening dengan tempo cepat.

Aku tak melawan penyitaan botol air mineralku, karena aku yakin akan mudah menemukan free water station di bandara berusia hampir seabad ini.

Aku mulai memasuki duty free zone dengan kamera di tangan. Tentu tak ada pelayan yang menyapaku yang berpenampilan dengan satu backpack di punggung. Ya, itu saja. Aku tak membawa apapun untuk 21 hari petualanganku kecuali  5 t-shirt, 2 celana panjang, 1 celana pendek bahkan aku menggunakan dispossable panties untuk urusan dalaman, praktis sekali pakai langsung buang. I’m very light backpacker. Orang inggris menyebutku “Wong Edan”.

Duty free zone.

Departure Hall

Masih di lantai 1, selepas duty free zone, aku dihadapkan langsung pada departure area dengan 5 gerbang pemberangkatan berkode B1 hingga B5.

Departure gate lantai 1.

Di lantai ini disediakan Al Mubarakiya Lounge bagi siapa saja yang ingin bersantai menunggu penerbangan. Aku sendiri hanya menggunakan gate B1 ketika menunggu airline van untuk menuju Safir Aiport Hotel yang dihadiahkan gratis oleh Kuwait Airways kepadaku semasa transit.

Gate B1.
Cafe Coco di dekat gate B1.

Sementara di dini hari berikutnya ketika hendak terbang bersama Kuwait Airways KU 621 menuju Doha, aku menggunakan fasilitas di sepanjang departure gate D1-D8 di lantai 2. Masih teringat ketika sehari sebelumnya tidur di sofa hijau panjang dan didatangi seorang polisi bergamis putih bak malaikat yang mengantarkanku pada keberuntungan mendapatkan free staying di Safir Airport Hotel.

Sofa di lantai 2.
Terbang ke Qatar melalui gate D8.

Parking Lot dan Area Kargo

Yuk, sekarang kita intip bagian luar bandara. Aku berhasil melihatnya dengan leluasa ketika menaiki airline van menuju Safir Airport Hotel. Hanya berdurasi 10 menit, aku perlahan melintasi area kargo. Baru kali ini melihat proses loading kargo secara langsung ketika melewati beberapa kaki pesawat kargo.

Turkish Airlines Cargo.
Area kargo.

Sebagai hasil dari pengembangan sebuah pangkalan Angkatan Udara, maka Kuwait International Airport masih berbagi tempat dengan Abdullah Al-Mubarak Air Base. Pangkalan ini sendiri berada di timur bandara, bersebelahan dengan Safir Airport Hotel tempatku menginap.

Pesawat angkut militer Alenia C-27J Spartan.

Lounge

Sebagai bandara yang memiliki kapastitas penumpang lebih dari sembilan juta penumpang per tahun maka selain menyediakan 5 area terminal maka fasilitas lounge menjadi bisnis yang menggiurkan. Selain Al Mubarakiya Lounge, Kuwait International Airport juga menyediakan Bayan Lounge di lantai 2.

Bayan Lounge dekat gate D8.

Toilet

Nah, dibagian terakhir mari kita lihat bagaimana penampakan toilet bandara. Ini dia:

Bersih dan wangi.
Toilet di lantai 2.

Itulah gambaran singkat dari Kuwait International Airport, khususnya Terminal 4.

Sudah dulu ya….Saatnya terbang ke Doha.

Kuwait Airways KU 614 dari Bahrain Ke Kuwait

Rute penerbangan KU 614 (sumber: https://www.radarbox.com/)

Tepat jam lima pagi aku mulai mengguyur badan di kamar mandi Bahrain Plaza Hotel. Hari itu juga, aku akan meninggalkan Bahrain dan menuju ke Kuwait. Setelah memastikan segenap perlengkapan tak tertinggal, aku turun ke lantai satu untuk menyerahkan kunci dan menuju ke shelter bus terdekat. Tak jauh, cuma tiga ratus meter di selatan hotel, tepat di depan Manama Cemetery.

Sepuluh menit kemudian Bus asal pabrikan MAN bernomor A1 tiba. Masuk dari pintu depan dan men-tap Go Card untuk membayar tarif senilai Rp 12.000, aku meluncur menuju Bahrain International Airport selama satu jam ke depan.

Tiba di airport pada jam 07:45, aku langsung menuju ke lantai 1. Area check-in yang tak lebih elok dari konter yang sama milik Halim Perdanakusuma Airport. Nomor penerbangan yang tak kunjung muncul di LCD Departure Hall, membuatku memiliki waktu untuk menukar Bahraini Dinar (BHD) tersisa. Rupanya money changer di lantai 1 tak mau menerima Dinar dalam jumlah kecil, beruntung Bahrain Financing Company (BFC) di lantai 0 masih mau menerimanya.

Jam 9:30, konter check-in untuk penerbangan Kuwait Airways KU 614 mulai dibuka. Kujelaskan singkat bahwa aku akan menuju Qatar dengan dua non-connecting flight dan akan transit di Kuwait. Staff pria muda itu hanya sekali bertanya kepadaku perihal Visa Qatar. “Qatar visa is free for Indonesian, Sir”, jawabku mengakhiri percakapan dan dia memberikan dua tiket berlogo burung biru sekaligus. Tiker sendiri aku pesan 9 bulan sebelum keberangkatan.

Kuwait Airways adalah maskapai ke-27 yang kunaiki.

Melewati konter imigrasi dengan mulus, aku segera menuju ke Gate 15 yang berlokasi di pojok ruangan dengan selasar sempit yang terhubung ke jalur aerobridge. Menunggu waktu boarding, aku terus mengamati lalu-lalang Gulf Air, maskapai kenamaan milik Kerajaan Bahrain.

Ruang tunggu keberangkatan.

Sedikit terlambat, aku mulai boarding pada jam 11:51. Rasa tak sabar menggelayuti hati untuk merasakan pertama kalinya penerbangan Kuwait Airways, maskapai milik Kerajaan Kuwait.

Satu jam terlambat.
Business Class.
Economy Class.

Segera mengambil tempat duduk sesuai yang tertera di boarding pass dan mempersiapkan diri untuk penerbangan pendek sejauh 420 km yang akan ditempuh dalam waktu  1 jam 10 menit.

Bangku nomor 17A yang kududuki.
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Alburaq inflight magazine.

Tampak bahwa beberapa aircrew maskapai ini berkebangsaan Philippines dan beberapa dari kawasan Afrika. Selama penerbangan, kuperhatikan botol-botol minuman beralkohol tak nampak pada food trolley, sepertinya penerbangan Kuwait Airways adalah penerbangan bebas alkohol….. Keren.

Menonton “The Martian”.
Menu Low Fat Meal (LFML) yang kupesan bebarengan dengan pemesanan tiket.

Siang itu udara di tepian barat daya Teluk Persia tampak cerah. Hal ini menjadikan penerbanganku terasa sangat mulus, tanpa turbulensi sama sekali. Penerbangan yang menyenangkan.

Cuaca cerah di awal Januari.
Berasa gimana gitu, terbang bersama warga Timur Tengah.

Di seperempat terakhir mengudara, pesawat mulai merendah dan menampakkan daratan Kuwait yang tampak gersang dan panas. Aku sendiri tak sabar ingin segera mengenal Kuwait International Airport yang menjadi mainhub Kuwait Airways.

Daratan Timur tengah yang khas coklat berpasir.
Kesibukan di Terminal 2 Expansion Project.
Penampakan kota Kuwait.

Waktu menunjukkan jam 13:35. Selepas pesawat berhenti sempurna, aku segera meninggalkan badan pesawat menuju ke Transit Hall Kuwait International Airport. Aku akan bersabar menunggu hingga pukul empat pagi di keesokan harinya untuk menuju Qatar.

Airbus generasi Neo A320-251N