The Spoils of War (and What the War Spoiled)

An unusual event in the history of a Boeing 727-200 in Air Salvage International’s care led Airliner World’s Martin Needham to investigate the curious case of Iraqi Airways and its attempts to expand its fleet during the invasion of Kuwait in 1990-91.

At the time of Airliner World’s visit to Air Salvage International, three Boeing 727s were parked at the Gloucestershire airfield. The most complete of them, M-FTOH (c/n 22359), is being kept alive as its owners, Strong Aviation, search for a buyer.

Initially delivered to Kuwait Airways on September 5, 1980, the aircraft was registered 9K-AFA and had first flown three weeks earlier. The initial of four examples ordered by the carrier, it was used on short- and medium-haul links, flying as far afield as Western Europe on routes to London/Heathrow and Frankfurt. The Pratt & Whitney JT8D-powered trijet was leased to Egyptair for 12 months from early 1988 and, on its return to Kuwait, was reconfigured with a VIP interior and used regularly by the Kuwaiti royal family.

During the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in August 1990, Boeing 727-200, M-FTOH (c/n 22359), was seized and flown to Oman for safekeeping. At that time, it was operated by Kuwait Airways on behalf of the country’s royal family.

The Invasion

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