Kuwait regulator says 2,266 Wataniya passengers flown home

The airline had its licence suspended for three months after cancelling flights and leaving passengers stranded



Kuwait’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said on Wednesday that 2,266 passengers affected by Wataniya Airways flight cancellations had returned to the country.

Wataniya’s licence was suspended for three months last week after leaving passengers stranded at destinations including Istanbul, Trabzon, Beirut, Malaga, Athens, Baku, Sarajevo and Tblisi after suffering a plane shortage.

The airline said three of its jets went out of service and it was unable to find appropriate replacements.

Read: Kuwait suspends Wataniya’s licence after flight cancellations

The cancellations just ahead of the start of the Gulf state’s school year prompted an intervention from Crown Prince Sheik Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, who instructed the government to fly passengers home.

Read: Kuwait’s Wataniya faces three-month ban after cancelling flights

The DGCA said passengers were flown back to Kuwait on 12 charter flights operated by Kuwait Airways.

A total of 445 hotel rooms and 272 commercial flight tickets were offered to Wataniya customers.

The directorate indicated it would charge Wataniya Airways for all financial costs involved and take legal action to protect the rights of passengers.

Should the carrier fail to show any improvement in its performance after the suspension it will face having its licence revoked.