Kuwait’s Wataniya Airways will cease operations to four destinations from 5 December, reduce staff numbers and reduce the number of aircraft it operates.

The airline will stop flights to Amman, Bahrain, Damascus and Jeddah as well as reducing the frequencies of its operations to Dubai. Services to destinations that offer longer-term success, including Beirut, Cairo, Sharm el-Sheikh and Vienna remain unaffected. The cancellation of the four routes means Wataniya will have to reduce its current fleet of seven aircraft to four. This also means that the airline will need to reduce staff numbers.

The airline is now looking into ways the three disused aircraft could be used.

“As for the three aircraft, we’re still looking into how they can be utilised; all the options are on the table including sub-leasing (as they’re leased by us and not bought), or basing them somewhere else,” says Jassim al-Qames, head of public relations at Wataniya Airways.

“We operate in a market dominated by large state-subsidised carriers who are allowed to flood Kuwait with excess capacity,” says al-Qames. “This has resulted in conditions which make our original business plans impossible to achieve.”

Wataniya shelved plans to start flights to Iran in May (MEED 10:5:10).