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Sun 18 Mar 2012 05:40 PM

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More flights cancelled amid Kuwait Airways strike

Operations disrupted for second day as workers strike in call for better pay

More flights cancelled amid Kuwait Airways strike
(AFP/Getty Images)

State-run Kuwait Airways cancelled more flights on Sunday as a strike by workers calling for better pay went into a second day, in the latest round of industrial action to hit the tiny Gulf state.

The carrier was forced to cancel seven flights on Sunday, spokesman Adel Boursli told state-run agency KUNA. It cut nine flights on Saturday after employees started their walkout.

The government announced a 25 percent rise in pay for state workers last week but several unions have said the measures did not go far enough.

Around 3,000 customs workers also went on strike at Kuwait's borders and ports last week with similar demands for higher pay. The airline's 4,000 unionised workers last walked out in October and were able to secure a 30 percent pay rise, according to figures quoted in local media.

The recent round of industrial action across the OPEC member state does not appear to have halted oil exports as it did in a wave of strikes last year.

Policymakers and economists say that while Kuwait can afford such pay increases in the short term, thanks to the high oil price, it risks longer-term imbalances if the cycle of strikes and pay hikes continued.

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Thalib 8 years ago

A look at kuwaiti international airport is enough evidence of the oil rich nation and where it is headed in the future.

RAH 8 years ago

Funny how a terminal building provides enough evidence to you on the future course of an entire nation.

Americanin Kuwait 8 years ago

The bathrooms at KWI are a disgrace and not enough. Same for food service.

Don't the people in charge ever check out real airports like Hong Kong, Dubai or Schipol ? Lagos' airport is better.

Mohammed 8 years ago

Besides actually breaking ground on the new airport project, Kuwait needs to immediately start overhaulling this airport. In a recent incident with a Lufthasa flight into KWI, which had to be diverted to Dammam Airport due to the navigation systems failing, it was highlighted that this equipment had not been upgraded for 25 years. So not only does this airport need to be immediately overhaulled to ensure better safety for passengers, but the need for basic airport infrastucture, such as check-in desks, x-ray machines, luggage belts etc. is needed ASAP. The Airport Mall needs to be removed with the replacement of immediate airport facilities due to increased passengers levels. Kuwait could utlilize the Royal Terminal for all business class/first class passengers for participating carriers taking these passenger numbers out of this airport until the new one is completed which is at least five years down the road. The government should hold a special session to discuss this airport.