The Finance and Economic Affairs Committee of the Kuwaiti parliament has agreed the formula for a draft bill that will see the country’s national airline privatised.

The first step will be to appoint an audit firm to evaluate and clarify the carrier’s assets. The firm will be selected by the cabinet in 2008.

Ahmed Baquer, the head of the committee, says that following the audit the government will not be allowed to cancel any subsidies or privileges enjoyed by the airline that might dramatically reduce its asset value ahead of privatisation.

Kuwait Airways currently has all operational losses reimbursed by the government and has only made a profit once in the last 16 years.

The privatisation of the airline will take place within two years, Baquer added.