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Kuwait aviation regulator revokes Wataniya Airways’ operating licence

Kuwait aviation regulator revokes Wataniya Airways’ operating licence

Wataniya previously had its licence suspended after flight cancellations left thousands of passengers stranded over the summer

Kuwait’s aviation regulator has cancelled the operating licence of troubled Wataniya Airways, according to reports.

Arabic newspaper Al-Jarida cited a Directorate General for Civil Aviation (DGCA) spokesperson as confirming the move, which comes roughly 18 months after the airline resumed operations

Wataniya had its licence suspended in early September following a series of flight cancellations that left more than 2,200 passengers stranded at destinations including Istanbul, Trabzon, Beirut, Malaga, Athens, Baku, Sarajevo and Tblisi at the end of August.

Read: Kuwait regulator says 2,266 Wataniya passengers flown home

The airline blamed a plane shortage for the issues, with officials saying 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

A DGCA spokesperson told Al-Jarida on Saturday that the airline had failed to take advantage of the suspension to overhaul its services or introduce immediate reforms to its operations.

Saad Al-Otaibi said the decision came in the interest of Kuwait’s image abroad and passenger safety.

The airline now faces an uncertain future having only resumed operations in July 2017 after a six-year absence blamed on financial difficulties and political instability in the Middle East.

An order for 25 Airbus A320neo jets made for Wataniya by aircraft provider Golden Falcon Aviation also now appears in peril.

Read: Golden Falcon orders 25 A320neos for Kuwait’s Wataniya

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