Kuwait Airways records first profit since Iraq invasion
Kuwait Airways Corp. (KAC) posted a $75-million profit in the last fiscal year to end nine years of losses following invasion by Iraq, chairman Ahmad al-Zabin said Wednesday.
KAC had projected to break even in the 1999/2000 fiscal year which ended June 30, but has gained 244 million dinars ($795 million) from a case it filed against reinsurance companies, Zabin told Al-Anba newspaper.
The case was filed in connection with losses and damage inflicted on the national carrier during the 1990-91 Iraqi invasion.
The airline has projected a loss of 9.1 million dinars ($30 million) for the current nine-month fiscal year which started July 1. Spending was estimated at $578 million and income at $548 million.
KAC has suffered from cashflow problems and debts which peaked at $1.4 billion after the Iraqi occupation, when it lost 86 percent of its capital.
Zabin said the state-owned KAC took a loan of 400 millionm dinars ($1.3 billion dollars) in 1991 for reconstruction, and has so far repaid 318 million dinars ($1.035 billion) including interest. Half of the original loan is still outstanding.
KAC reported a loss of $242.8 million in the 1998-1999 fiscal year, due to spillover of losses from previous years. The state carrier accumulated a deficit of 755 million dollars from 1991.
Final accounts submitted by KAC to parliament in April show actual revenues stood at $645.7 million and expenditure at $888.5 million.
In June 1999, the Kuwaiti cabinet approved a draft law to transform KAC into a shareholding company, but parliament rejected the bill in November. The new profits are certain to revive privatisation efforts.
KAC operates a fleet of 15 Airbus and two Boeing 777 aircraft and total net assets stood at 530 million dinars (1.72 billion dollars) on June 30, 2000. – (AFP)
© Agence France Presse 2000