Kuwait Airways budget passed with $103-million deficit

Published June 19th, 2001 - 02:00 GMT

Lawmakers on Monday, June 18, approved the budget of the Kuwait Airways for the 2001-2002 fiscal year that projects a loss of $103.6 million. 


MPs had held up the budget for two weeks in protest at hundreds of millions of dollars in losses sustained by Kuwait Airways Corp. (KAC) following the 1991 liberation of the emirate from Iraqi occupation. 


Thirty-three MPs voted for the budget, while two voted against and 14 abstained. 


Spending at the airline is estimated at $761.6 million, while revenues are projected at $658 million. 


The national carrier has suffered from cash flow problems and debts, which peaked at $1.4 billion after the Iraqi occupation of August 1990-February 1991, when it lost 86 percent of its capital. 


Kuwait Airways took a loan of $1.3 billion for reconstruction after the emirate's liberation in the Gulf War and has so far repaid about $1.2 billion including interest. More than $500 million of the original loan, on top of interest, is still outstanding. 


KAC's actual losses in the previous fiscal year, which was shortened to nine months, reached $105 million. 


In 1999-2000, the state-owned carrier posted a profit of $77.2 million after it gained $795 million from a case it filed against reinsurance companies for damages during the Iraqi invasion. 


The carrier operates a fleet of 15 Airbus and two Boeing 777 aircraft, while total net assets stood at $1.72 billion on June 30, 2000. ― (AFP, Kuwait City) 


© Agence France Presse 2001

© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)

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