KUWAIT CITY (AFP) – State-owned Kuwait Airways incurred a 55 million dinar (189 million dollar) loss last year due to stiff competition and high fuel prices, its chairman said in comments published on Thursday.
Al-Qabas newspaper quoted Hamad al-Falah as saying that 65 million dollars were lost due to stiff competition in the local market and 20 million dollars due to higher fuel prices.
The privatisation-bound airline has posted a loss in all but one of the past 20 years, accumulating losses of more than 2.5 billion dollars.
Kuwait has two private airlines, Wataniya Airways and the low-cost Jazeera Airways.
In March, the government formed a committee to probe allegations of widespread corruption in the state-owned carrier and vowed to refer the findings to the public prosecutor.
Under a privatisation law, KAC will be transformed into a private company with a 35-percent stake to be sold at auction to foreign or local investors and 40 percent to be sold to Kuwaiti citizens in an initial public offering.
Twenty percent will be reserved for state-run institutions and the remaining five percent will be distributed for free to the Kuwaiti employees.
The airline has a fleet of 15 Airbus and two Boeing aircraft which it bought in the early 1990s.