It looks like Kuwait Airways is jinxed. It’s back in the limelight after years of struggle, but not with good news. The long war for privatizing it, which made the airline suffer, damaged its reputation, its bottom line and operations to the point that even Kuwaitis shun it and opt for other airlines. This despite Kuwait Airways once being the leader and pioneer in the region.
There is no clear plan for the blue bird – how many shares will be under public control, the stake of government, and the share of the private sector. Kuwaiti pilots were sacked after opting to stay with the government in case the airline was privatized, which isn’t the case until now. New aircraft were bought and everyone was happy that the fleet was improving and being updated to compete with other regional carriers.
Then all of the sudden, back to square one. Rasha Al-Roumi resigned and rumors say that she was pushed to resign by the ministry of social affairs. Then a new board was quickly set up. Why was Roumi sacked? Everyone says that she enjoyed a good reputation and integrity. If she enjoyed all these qualities, why was she pushed out? We want to know what’s going on. And why was the whole board changed? We expect an explanation, at least from the government. Were these people guilty of something, or were they stopping something from happening? This is what the public wants to know.
In my opinion, why must everything be privatized? There are certain things that, for the sake of the nation, should stay with the government, like oil, our national resource. And KAC, our national airline, which was doing very well under government control until the greed of a few people prevailed, who started thinking of privatizing the airline and taking control of Kuwait Airways.
Why did you wait until after buying the new aircraft, which the government paid for, and then talk of privatization? Excuse me, but it should have been done some time ago when the airline was still operating with old aircraft but had a good reputation. What I hope is that the parliament, for a change, will stand with one hand and do something for the nation and save our national airline.
By Badrya Darwish