KUWAIT, (Reuters) – Kuwaiti luxury carrier Wataniya Airways said on Wednesday it was stopping its operations due to its financial situation and regional unrest.
“Given the current financial situation of the company …, as well as the difficult political and security situation in the region, the board has decided to cease all Wataniya Airways operations,” a company statement said.
The statement also blamed a “lack of fair trade requirements in the local market” for its decision, without elaborating.
The small airline which launched operations in 2009, catering to wealthy citizens of the Gulf Arab oil producers, said in November it was cutting its fleet and the number of its Middle East destinations as its financial performance had fallen short of expectations.
“The board has decided to call a meeting of the company’s shareholders as soon as possible to discuss the future course of the company,” Wednesday’s statement said .
The company’s stock, which closed 1.9 percent lower earlier on Wednesday, has lost 35 percent this year after dropping 29.8 percent in 2010.
While popular uprisings have swept the Arab world, Bahrain’s Shi’ite majority has staged the Gulf’s most sustained protests, while Oman and Saudi Arabia have also witnessed some demonstrations. Kuwait has seen protests by stateless Arabs demanding citizenship benefits.