Kuwait eyes privatisation of airline


KUWAIT – Loss-making Kuwait Airways is expected to be privatised within 10 months, the state carrier’s chairman was quoted as saying yesterday.

Kuwait’s parliament in January approved a government plan to sell 40 per cent of the carrier to the public and 35pc to a long-term investor within two years.

A plan to evaluate the airline’s assets would be presented to the communications minister before August, Hamd Al Falah said, according to the official news agency Kuna.

“Kuwait Airways’ chairman expects the process to privatise the corporation to be completed within the coming 10 months,” Kuna said.

The carrier, which lost most of its fleet during Iraq’s 1990-1991 occupation of Kuwait, has 17 aircraft, according to its website.

Kuwait cancelled an order worth $3 billion for 19 Airbus and Boeing with Aviation Lease and Finance (Alafco) in August after parliament blocked the deal.

Al Falah said the cabinet had approved a plan to lease two aircraft until the end of the year, with a A320 starting to operate this month and a second one expected to be delivered in October pending the outcome of negotiations.