Kuwait Airways ‘revamp’ scheme in the works: min – ‘Strategy would lead to increased competitiveness’

KUWAIT CITY, July 30, (Agencies): A plan to develop Kuwait Airways Corporation (KAC) is currently in the works and “will be completed before the year is out,” Kuwait’s Minister of Social Affairs and Labor said on Sunday.

In an interview with a local newspaper, Hind Al-Sabeeh, who is also Minister of State for Economic Affairs, said that the strategy to upgrade Kuwait’s national carrier would lead to better services and increased competitiveness.

With its recent purchase of a fleet of new aircrafts, Al-Sabeeh foreboded that the company was at the cusp of new growth, saying she was “hopeful that the airline would be able to regain its lost glory.” Meanwhile, the Kuwaiti minister touched on a range of hot topics, including the country’s proposed philanthropic law, which encompasses civil and voluntary work in a nation with a penchant for altruism, which seeks to amass funds for public benefit.

The Minister of Social Affairs also pointed out that a number of labor laws are currently pending, all of which will help design a comprehensive foreign workforce policy.

Minister of Social Affairs and Labor and State Minister for Economic Development Hind Al-Sabeeh said Kuwait Airways Corporation (KAC) has requested for the establishment of a private company to manage the airport in cooperation with the Civil Aviation Corporation, reports Al-Jarida daily.

In her recent interview with the daily, Al-Sabeeh disclosed that the gains of such companies range from 30 to 40 percent.  She emphasized the need for KAC to exert more efforts in order to regain its previous position. She expressed optimism in this regard, taking into consideration the ongoing work towards laying down a five-year strategy to help KAC, hoping the strategy will be completed before the end of 2017.  She revealed the strategy aims to upgrade the national carrier, improve its services and enhance its competitive edge.  She expects KAC to make profits within three or four years – the estimated period for return of investments on chartering and purchasing aircraft.

Talking about grilling, Al-Sabeeh asserted this is the constitutional right of MPs and a tool for implementation of reforms, stressing that ministers are not worried about grilling as it is a way for citizens to be aware of defects and weakness points.

Al-Sabeeh went on to say that the ministry summoned the representative of the Social Reform Society for interrogation about his comment on the Arab-Qatari dispute as it is considered interference in political affairs. The minister added the representative promised not to repeat the action, admitting that it is a violation of the law on civil organizations and clubs.

Details of withdrawals from the general financial reserve of the country in the last three fiscal years — from 2014/2015 to 2016 2017 — amounting to KD28.5 billion have been disclosed, reports Al-Qabas daily quoting informed sources.

Sources said the largest percentage of withdrawals from the general reserve went to the Future Generations Fund — KD15.743 billion or 55.1 percent of the total amount; followed by withdrawals to address the budget deficit at KD10.8 billion (37.8 percent), and then the Public Authority for Social Security  with KD1.4 billion (4.9 percent) to cover actuarial deficit.

In fiscal 2016/2017, the Ministry of Finance transferred KD358 million to the Ministry of Defense — 1.3 percent of withdrawals in the last three years; while in fiscal 2014/2015, the government transferred KD253 million (0.9 percent) to Kuwait Airways Corporation to cover subsequent losses, sources added.

Sources pointed out the Ministry of Finance recently clarified financial developments related to the general budget by holding several conferences, releasing data and meeting several civil society organizations to respond to their queries. Sources said the most recent meeting was held Wednesday between Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Anas Al-Saleh and members of the Kuwait Economic Society.

Meanwhile, the Kuwait Economic Society hailed the government’s approach to guarantee transparency and openness in dealing with the financial situation, budget and ways of disbursement; while striving to involve everyone in the steps being taken. The society stressed this is a manifestation of the ministry’s keenness to publish financial statements.




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