Kuwaiti jobs safe with airline privatisation plans

Around 2600 local employees can stay with firm, retire or transfer.
NEWS, Aviation


No Kuwaitis currently working for Kuwait Airways is expected to be made unemployed as a result of the process to privatise the company, it was announced on Monday.

All 2,600 Kuwaiti employees of the airline and its subsidiaries have been offered the opportunity to move to the newly privatised company.

However, according to the Privatisation Committee of Kuwait Airways (PrivComm), those who choose not to transfer to the new operation will be offered a role in another government-run organisation.

Kuwaiti employees who qualify can also retire from Kuwait Airways, PrivComm added in a statement published by Kuwait News Agency on Monday.

PrivComm said a survey reviewing the senior, technical, and administrative staff requirements for the privatised airline was now complete. The survey was undertaken by Seabury, PrivComm's dedicated specialist aviation consultancy.

"Employees who have elected to either retire or transfer to another government entity will be released at the conclusion of the privatisation process," it said in the statement.

It added that transitional interim management positions will be offered as the company proceeds with the privatisation process.

"Seabury has started and is progressing the interview process of prospective applicants and the decision relating to the interim management positions will be announced once the financial, structural, and legal framework of the new company has been established," the statement added.

PrivComm said it remains confident that with a revised business model, KAC will maintain its leading role in the national airline industry once privatisation has been completed.

Kuwait Airways said last month it made losses of KD76m ($276m) in the 2010-2011 financial year, driven by rising fuel and staff costs.

KAC is the leading carrier in Kuwait with a 2010 market share of 31 percent by passengers transported.

The Kuwait aviation market has one of the highest expenditure levels on business travel in the region with $1.3 billion spent in 2010, underpinned by the country's high level of GDP per capita.

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