After weeks of turmoil at the company, which has resulted in the long-anticipated privatisation of Kuwait’s national carrier being repeatedly delayed, the government is putting renewed pressure on parliament to pass a law sanctioning the sell-off. Communications Minister Abdul Wahid al-Awadi, whose remit includes transport, says he expects parliamentary approval to be swift. ‘The government has decided to act on this and there is a strong movement in parliament to improve the company,’ he says. People understand that to improve the service we need to open the company to public ownership. We expect the law to be passed in four to six weeks.’ Al-Awadi says the government will retain up to 24 per cent of the airline, with 40-50 per cent sold through an initial public offering, and the remainder sold to other firms participating in the privatisation process. Al-Awadi also confirms that there will be no prosecution of Sheikh Talal al-Sabah, Kuwait Airways’ former chairman. ‘It is over,’ he says. ‘The old board has gone, a new board and chairman are in place, and the company is moving forward.’ However, reflecting on the previous board’s mass resignation over accusations that he was interfering in the company’s internal affairs (MEED 14:9:07), he says: ‘The Communications Ministry runs the company and I had to be tough to try to get the airline running properly. ‘It is the minister’s responsibility. They [the former board] did not like the way I was running the company so we brought in new management.’ No further aircraft will be bought until the legislation has been passed and a privatisation committee established, he adds.