Kuwait Airways gets $56m compensation


State-owned Kuwait Airways Corp (KAC) said it has received $56.1 million in partial compensation from Iraq for losses incurred during the 1990-91 Gulf crisis.

KAC said in a statement received yesterday the payment was part of a case against Iraq's national airline in a British court demanding compensation for 'costs of retrieving six planes from Iran and for operating losses related to their grounding'.

'KAC expects to receive in October, 2002, another ruling... for the remainder of total compensation of around $100 million with interest for the loss of aircraft and the six aeroplanes retrieved from Iran,' the statement said.

The Airbus planes were flown to Iraq during Baghdad's seven-month occupation of Kuwait. Iraq flew the cream of its air force and the Kuwaiti airliners to Iran to keep them safe from allied bombing during the 1991 Gulf War that freed Kuwait.

Loss-making KAC has claims for payments against Iraq and its national carrier before the British courts and a UN body which pays out Gulf crisis compensation from Baghdad's oil earnings.

It has already been awarded some $557 million for damages during the Iraqi occupation and collected insurance payments.

KAC, with losses of over $100 million a year in recent years, suffers from heavy debt payments for a new fleet after it lost 84 per cent of its assets during the 1990-91 Gulf crisis.

KAC now has one of the world's youngest fleets, with new aircraft bought after the war.