Kuwait's Wataniya Airways resumes operations
As previously reported, the boutique carrier's inaugural service was between Kuwait and Tbilisi, Georgia, conducted with A320-200 9K-EAH (msn 6080). Other destinations to follow in the coming days include a 2x weekly service to Baku, Azerbaijan, from July 12 and a 2x weekly return service to Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, from July 13.
Other additional routes set to roll out in its first phase of operations include Cairo Int'l and Beirut as well as select points in the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Iran, India, Pakistan, and Europe.
A publically-traded company until operational difficulties forced its suspension of services in 2011 and subsequent Kuwait Stock Exchange delisting in 2012, Wataniya Airways lay dormant until 2016 when it passed into the hands of Kuwait's Al Tuwaijri Group. After acquiring a 13% controlling stake from Kuwaiti investment firm KIPCO in August 2016, Al Tuwaijri Group set about consolidating its control over the airline by acquiring other shareholders' stakes eventually reducing its share capital from the original KWD50 million dinars to KWD10 million.
In tandem with the share capital restructuring, Al Tuwaijri Group also negotiated debt settlements with Wataniya Airways' two largest creditors, Kuwaiti lessor ALAFCO and the Kuwait Aviation Services Company (KASCO), which, together, were owed KWD7.5 million (USD24.58 million).
As it stands, the Group now plans to double Wataniya Airways' share capital to KWD20 million (USD66 million) with this resumption of flights.