State-owned Kuwait Airways has posted a KD76m ($275m) loss in the last financial year ending 31 March, due to an increase in maintenance and fuel costs.

This represents a 38 per cent decline on the previous year, when the airline recorded a KD55m loss. Revenues last year reached $825m while spending stood at $1.1bn. Maintenance cost $130m, fuel cost $272m while extra salaries paid for surplus employees cost more than $100m, says Hamad al-Falah, chairman of the carrier.

Kuwait Airways, which is going through a privatisation process, has posted a loss every year of the past 21 years bar one. It has accumulated total losses of $2.7bn.

The privatisation of the carrier is running behind schedule. On 1 July 2010, the local Abdulhameed Al-Sarraf & Partners and US’ Baker & McKenzie were appointed legal advisers on the privatisation of the Kuwait Airways Corporation.

In March, Kuwait’s Wataniya Airways ceased all operations due to losses (MEED 17:3:11).