Green light for delayed Kuwait Airways privatisation

National Assembly paves way for privatisation of loss-making carrier within three years

Kuwait’s National Assembly committee for financial and economic affairs has approved the privatisation of Kuwait Airways, state news agency KUNA reported.

“The approval was taken after both the Minister and Kuwait Airways Corporation (KAC) chairman gave written statements obliging them to present a three-year action plan,” Communications Minister Safa Al Hashem said.

The committee also discussed the carrier’s fleet, accidents, malfunctions, delays and employees’ benefits, he added.

Kuwait’s parliament first approved a plan to privatise the loss-making carrier in 2008 but the process has been repeatedly delayed. 

The Gulf state’s cabinet in April approved an amended draft law paving the way for the privatisation within three years but the plan still had to be approved by the National Assembly.

Under the proposed plans, Kuwait will offer a 35 percent stake in the carrier to companies on the country’s stock exchange and to local or international firms, KUNA said in April. The government will retain a 20 percent stake while 5 percent will be distributed to KAC employees “equally and for free”.

The remaining 40 percent will be allotted to citizens registered with the Public Authority for Civil Information, the Kuwaiti body that issues civil identity cards, it added.

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