Wataniya Airways suspends operations
Wataniya Airways stated (16-Mar-2011) it would "cease all Wataniya Airways operations" due to the "current financial situation of the company ... as well as the difficult political and security situation in the region". The carrier also blamed a "lack of fair trade requirements in the local market" for its decision, without elaborating. The premium carrier launched service in 2009. In Nov-2010, the carrier stated it would reduce its fleet and its network as its financial performance had fallen short of expectations. The company's stock, which closed 1.9% lower earlier on 16-Mar-2011, has lost 35% in 2011 after slumping 29.8% in 2010 (Reuters, 16-Mar-2011). The carrier operated the following aircraft prior to its suspension, based on Ascend data:
- Three A320-210s with CFM International CFM56 engines owned by ALAFCO Aviation Lease and Finance Company;
- Three A320-210s CFM International CFM56 engines owned by AerCap;
- One A320-210 with CFM International CFM56 engines owned by ILFC.
Wataniya Airways: "We would like to inform you that, starting March 16th, Wataniya Airways has ceased all its operations and will now enter a process to determine the future of the company. In the meantime, no flights will operate. Unfortunately, the company is not in a position to offer alternative flights to you," Company Statement, 16-Mar-2011.
Wataniya Airways: "The Board of Wataniya Airways met today to discuss the company’s financial condition and options for the company going forward. As a result, the Board has decided to call a meeting of the company’s shareholders as soon as possible to discuss the future course of the company. In the meantime, given the current financial situation of the company and the lack of fair trade requirements in the local market, as well as the difficult political and security situation in the region, the Board has decided to cease all Wataniya Airways operations with the return of its last scheduled flight to Kuwait tonight, March 16th 2011. The Board of Wataniya Airways apologises unreservedly to all parties for the inconvenience and disruption this will cause. Today is a sad day for all Wataniya Airways employees, our shareholders, and our loyal and valued guests. Over the last two years, together we have written a new chapter in Kuwaiti aviation history. In doing so, we have sought to deliver the very best services that air travel has to offer, achieved new benchmarks and created a proud and remarkable record. Further information will be communicated to our shareholders, guests, and the general public in a press conference set for next week as well as the extraordinary general assembly meeting the timing of which will be announced as soon as possible," Statement from the Board of Wataniya Airways, 16-Mar-2011.