We mean by “Kuwaitiya” Kuwait Airways and not Kuwaiti nationality as the latter’s conditions in light of personal status law is a catastrophic one.
Experience has shown that opening a hospital in a remote area will automatically increase the number of patients in that area. The reason is that emergency patients, for example, residents of the remote area usually find it difficult to take a long road to a clinic or hospital for treatment, and postpone the matter for the next day. A large number of them realize in the next morning that the ‘symptoms’ or ‘pain’ has disappeared.
However, if a hospital is near, they will definitely make a bee line to the hospital for treatment so the number of patients with the opening of a new hospital in a remote area will automatically increase.
This is similar to the case of Kuwaitiya (Kuwait Airways) under its current administration, which has insisted, for good reason, on the dissemination of apologies in the social media and to explain the reasons when passengers face problems.
This new and unprecedented approach has created resentment among some and a misunderstanding among a majority who believe that the problems of delay and cancellation of flights have become twice their number in the past. The truth may be the opposite, or the situation has not changed much from what it was, or perhaps slightly improved.
But what has changed is the momentum of the “apologetic culture” unlike earlier times. This is a “huge” problem of “Kuwaitiya” in the face of almost repeated apologies, especially when the weather worsens. The entire Kuwaiti people has become aware of the problems that Kuwait Airways is facing in terms of landing and takeoff times and the delay of the flights.
The interesting thing is that we do not hear any apologies from other airlines, and I do not think that means that they are perfect.
The real problem of Kuwaitiya, like most other service sectors that are wholly owned by the state, lies in the dysfunctional culture of the society including the attitude of many members of this society, and in the absence of a moral conscience among many of them.
Everyone, for example, is keen to perform prayers in their time, but they themselves do not care, for example, to respond to the call to the plane, and even if the calling includes their names. They arrive to the plane proudly paying no consideration to the negative consequents of their actions to the reputation of Kuwait Airways.
The absence of a sense of social responsibility has contributed to the increase in the problems of Kuwait Airways. A majority of the passengers of this carrier not only feel or believe that the plane is part of their own property but they act on similar basis. Therefore, the service is below standard, and its bathrooms are often unclean.
The solution may be in the privatization of the company, and this is not easy. There are beneficiaries of keeping of the situation as it is. There are at least ten thousand of those who have the right to travel for free, and so on.
I think the situation of the Kuwaitiya will definitely improve under the current administration, but it will always suffer from problems because of its legal status and its stay under the mercy of a flaccid administration, such as the Directorate General of Civil Aviation.
By Ahmad Al-Sarraf