Wataniya Airways' suspension comes after a government ultimatum to reform the airline's operations expired
Kuwait’s Wataniya Airways’ permit has been suspended for three months after a government ultimatum to reform the airline's operations expired, Minister of State for Housing and Minister of State for Services’ Affairs Dr Jenan Boushehri said on Wednesday.
According to Kuwait’s state run Kuwait News Agency (KUNA), the decision was taken because the airline had "neither made tangible overhaul of its services nor introduced immediate reforms to operations, thus negatively affecting the national aviation sector and Kuwait's image abroad, as well as undermining passengers' interests."
The move comes just two days after Wataniya Airways announced that it was suspending operations after “unexpected circumstances” led to three planes going out of service, leaving just one aircraft available for commercial flights.
In August, Kuwait’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) warned the airline that it faced the three month suspending if it didn’t resolve issues regarding flight delays and cancellations by September 6.
Speaking at a press conference announcing the suspension of operations earlier this week, board chairman Ali Al Fozan said that the airline’s financial position remains good and vowed that “the board is determined to take necessary measures to revive Wataniya in the near future.”
On Tuesday, Kuwaiti authorities said they helped 1,500 passengers whose flights had been cancelled since August 26, and the country's foreign ministry urged passengers stranded abroad to seek help in resolving flight issues.