Kuwait Airways posts $116m loss


State carrier Kuwait Airways has said it managed to minimise a net loss in the fiscal year which ended in March despite the damaging impact of the September 11 attacks on the industry, recording a shortfall of $116 million.

The national flag carrier said in a statement that the loss for the year was expected to come in at around KD35.7 million ($116 million) compared with a projected KD31.5 million in the company's April 2001-March 2002 financial statement.

It said drastic cost-cutting measures introduced following the attacks in the United States with hijacked commercial aircraft helped the airline cut the deficit which could have risen to KD45 million.

Kuwait Airways, which has been suffering repeated deficits in recent years, lost 80 per cent of its assets in the 1990 Iraqi invasion and seven-month occupation of Kuwait.

The company also called on Kuwait's elected parliament to pass Kuwait Airways financial statements.

It said it needed KD115 million to tackle "a liquidity shortage" stuck in the system due to a legislative standoff.

The airline, earmarked by the state for partial privatisation, often comes under attack in parliament, which is due to start discussing financial statements for various state bodies, including Kuwait Airways, for the fiscal year which started on April 1.