Air Transport World

Picking up the pieces. (Kuwait Airways rebuilds after the Persian Gulf war)

Cairo-Kuwait Airways has been able to restore service to key points on its route network but like its mother country, it never will be the same as it was prior to the Iraqi invasion. With most of its technical facilities at Kuwait Airport destroyed or badly damaged, the airline has to decide whether the base should be reconstructed entirely. The alternative would be to contract out work that previously was performed in-house.

An important factor in the decision is the Kuwaiti government's new policy that in the future, the nation must be less reliant on foreigners for its work. In the past, Kuwait Airways, like other Kuwaiti concerns, used foreign workers for both skilled and menial tasks. Andersen Consulting has been retained to assess the airline's future manpower needs. Meanwhile, the work force, which numbered close to 6,000 before the invasion, totaled under 2,000 in the spring. All of the foreigners who left Kuwait after the invasion have communicated their willingness to return to the airline when jobs are available.

Key management personnel started moving back shortly after the country's liberalization but several months are likely to pass before all head-office personnel vacate the temporary Kuwait Airways headquarters that was established in the airline's Cairo regional office for the Middle East. There are no plans to close the temporary technical base at Cairo Airport that had existed for several years to provide support for Kuwait Airways' aircraft leased to EgyptAir.

After the invasion, this base was expanded and personnel moved there from various points on the airline's route network to which service had been stopped.

Cairo was the base for the limited scheduled operations that Kuwait Airways was able to resume in October. …

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