Wataniya Airways – Over Stretched

We are sorry to have to inform you that with effect from 5 December 2010, we will no longer operate flights from Kuwait to Amman, Bahrain, Damascus and Jeddah. In addition, we will reduce the frequency of services to Dubai.

This is a very sad day, I was honestly shocked when I heard this information about Wataniya Airlines. I thought things were picking up, they opened up the new routes in Europe and people went crazy during Eid. It just felt like things were coming together for Wataniya Airlines and I was looking forward to flying on it more then before, but turns out they were in more trouble then anyone knew. They stopped 4 destinations, planning to rent out several of their planes, shut down their call center, downsize and fire a large majority of their employees. This is just a shocking step for such an amazing airline, and I completely depend on it for my flights in the Middle East and now I have to go back to either Emirates or Jazeera. Emirates have good service but very high prices, I got used to the spacious planes of Wataniya Airlines. Jazeera are cheap but lots of delays, no flexibility, a fee charged for every little thing, and a huge fee is charged for normal changes. I was honestly very proud of Wataniya Airlines as a Kuwaiti brand but now its in trouble and I really hope they get their act back together soon so we can keep on traveling with them.

A guy who is just trying to enjoy life!

11 Comments

  1. I was sad to hear the news too! They already started firing some of their staff to cut costs. However, not long time ago Jazeera faced the same problem and they are doing just fine now, i guess Wataniya is doing the same and before we know it they will be back on track :)

    I personally prefer Wataniya over Jazeera or even Kuwait Airways.

  2. I can’t believe they managed to mess this up! They started off well, then started growing nicely – they should have given their recent expansion plan time to settle before removing their core regional destinations. Oh well. Nice while it lasted. I too was very proud of the brand. I thought it would last a few years at least.

    Back to EK!

  3. I think we should start a petition or something, maybe even request the government to bailout Wataniya since they are the best thing to come out of Kuwait since Crude Oil

  4. bader

    I am very sad to hear about this. I believe that wataniya airways is the best in the arab region and I enjoyed flying aboard their planes many many times. I hope this is just a temporary set back and nothing serious.

  5. King Ed

    To be honest since we are working in the aviation field we all knew about that this day is going to come for many valid reasons;

    1- ex Kuwait Airways managing the sales force which was a big disadvantage
    2- hiring unqualified staff from the market and not even interviewing many professionals who applied for jobs there in different fields.
    3- wasta was involved in recruiting people.

    4- over paying employees people who used to earn 250 KD joined with salaries starting from 750kd sales salaries starting from 1100 plus. which made them the highest paid airline employees in Kuwait
    5-bad marketing campaigns
    6- sheikh saad terminal they were losing lots of customers from the transit
    Passengers who used other airlines for connecting flight to different parts
    of the region.
    7- strong competition by low cost carriers such as jazeera airways and fly Dubai.

    That’s my personal view. But i didn’t hear about leasing the aircrafts and at same time you have to understand that its a new airline and it has to go through restructuring which is normal.
    7-

  6. Fz

    They tried to grow very fast and too soon to add so much destinations.. A mistake many companies fall into.

  7. I still think it’s a temporary decision.

    From a business side, I think what they did is the best if they were to continue operations.

    They could have been stubborn and continued with making losses. This way, when they cut cost, they get time to breathe and get back on the horse.

    Like I said, I’m hoping it’s temporary :)

  8. psytrance

    well it had to happen sooner or later.

    maintaining planes has a huge costs.

    also payment for the leased planes was really high

  9. Simon Howkin

    What a terrible shame.

  10. @Moody Pants – I prefer Wataniya for all travel in the GCC! I just hope that they come back together soon! I seriously depend on them for travel all over the Middle East!

    @Bu Yousef – I’m still crossing my fingers and going to fly with them! I’m not going to stop honestly until they either get back on track or stop flying!

    @T – The government isn’t helping the local economy let alone a major airline which is a symbol of our ingenuity! They have turned Dubai into a hub which helps private businesses flourish but in our case we are in competition against crazy odds!

    @bader – I agree! I still think they are the best! I hope they continue their flights!

    @King Ed – I hope they get back on their feet! I honestly think that Sheikh Saad Terminal is a plus for them! you do have some valid points, I hope they learn from their mistake and get back on their feet and into full swing again!

    @Fz – I hope they fix things and get back into a good groove!

    @Buzfairy – Same here! I hope its temporary and they turn things back around!

    @psytrance – But it was a valid business, they just have to get the model right, there is a need for it in Kuwait!

    @Simon Howkin – I would agree!

  11. J

    @T – If Wataniya Airlines gets a bailout from the Kuwait Government then they would be in the government’s pocket. If you’ve lived in Kuwait for awhile than you would know how efficient the government is, and I don’t think that would be very good for Wataniya Airlines. They’re better off cutting their losses and continue to strive for customer service.

    Good Luck.

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