Kuwait Airways Records First Profit since Iraq Invasion
Kuwait Airways Corp. (KAC) posted a 75-million-dollar 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 dollars) 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 dollars) for the current nine-month fiscal year, which started July 1st. Spending was estimated at 578 million dollars and income at 548 million dollars.
KAC has suffered from cashflow problems and debts, which peaked at 1.4 billion dollars after the Iraqi occupation, when it lost 86 percent of its capital.
Zabin said the state-owned KAC took a loan of 400 million dinars (1.3 billion dollars) in 1991 for reconstruction, and has so far repaid 318 million dinars (1.035 billion dollars) including interest.
Half of the original loan is still outstanding.
KAC reported a loss of 242.8 million dollars 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 dollars and expenditure at 888.5 million dollars.
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 30th, 2000 - KUWAIT CITY (AFP)
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)