Kuwait airline posts $20.5m losses for H1

KNA chiefs says they remain upbeat about prospects for new carrier Wataniya.
Kuwait airline posts $20.5m losses for H1
By Andy Sambidge
Thu 06 Aug 2009 07:51 AM

Kuwait National Airways Company (KNA) has announced losses of KD5.9m ($20.5m) for the first half of 2009.

The firm, which includes Wataniya Airways, the country's newest premium service airline, said it was operating in one of the most challenging years in aviation history, adding that yields remained under pressure and below expectation.

Company chiefs said despite the downturn, Wataniya Airways had managed to post volume growth of 82 percent against capacity growth of 75 percent in the second quarter of 2009.

"To us, this is remarkable," said chairman and MD of KNA Abdulsalam Al Bahar.

He added that the half year results were expected as the airline has only been in operation for six months and had incurred initial startup and product investment costs.

"We believe the best of Wataniya Airways is yet to come in terms of better results and the continuing development of our premium services," said Al Bahar.

He added: "We have indicators that are cause for optimism, such as the rapid increase in revenue we're witnessing and the performance of our subsidiaries."

Wataniya Airways is expected to start flights to Jeddah during Ramadan once all government approvals have been received.

In October, the airline will take delivery of its fourth Airbus A320.

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