Wataniya Airways looking forward to privatisation of Kuwait Airways; Comair gains


Kuwait National Airways (-1.8%) was down after Wataniya Airways Chairman and Managing Director, Abdulsalam Al-Bahar, stated the airline is looking forward to the privatisation of Kuwait Airways Corporation, stating it is currently difficult to compete with KAC as a private sector airline, as fuel and airport space rentals are currently subsidised for KAC.

Also during trading, Kuwait's Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Hamad Jaer Al-Ali Al-Sabah, reportedly stated Saudi Arabia has increased permitted frequency from Kuwait to the nation from 14 to 37 times weekly, providing Wataniya with a chance to expand its route network. The carrier currently operates three times weekly Kuwait-Jeddah service.

Elsewhere in the Middle East, Air Arabia (+1.0%) and Royal Jordanian Airlines (+4.0%) were up.

In Africa, Comair (+3.6%) was the day’s biggest gainer. The carrier, which is the franchise operator of British Airways in South Africa, announced last week it has partnered with the Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency to expand its domestic route network to include Nelspruit. Effective 04-May-2010, British Airways will operate Johannesburg OR Tambo-Kruger Mpumalanga service.

1time Holdings (+0.8%) was also up with South Africa’s FTSE/JSE Africa All Share Index (+1.0%), while Lonrho was flat and Kenya Airways (-0.8%) was down.

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Selected African and Middle Eastern airlines share price movements (% change): 17-Mar-2010

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