Kuwait's Wataniya Airways ceases operations

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Kuwaiti carrier Wataniya Airways has ceased operations effective immediately, having run into financial trouble.

Wataniya started up two years ago after the Kuwaiti Government carried out plans to create additional airlines in the small Gulf state.

It built a fleet of seven Airbus A320 aircraft but towards the end of last year admitted it would be slashing its network and removing three of the jets from service.

Wataniya has been unable to overcome its financial crisis and says it is ceasing all flights today.

"Given the current financial situation of the company and the lack of fair trade requirements in the local market, as well as the difficult political and security situation in the region, the board has decided to cease all Wataniya Airways operations," it says.

The airline adds that it will "enter a process to determine the future of the company" with its shareholders.

"In the meantime, no flights will operate," it states. "Unfortunately, the company is not in a position to offer alternative flights to [passengers].

"We regret that matters have reached this juncture and deeply apologise for the inconvenience it has caused."

The airline's fleet had been leased from various companies including Kuwait's ALAFCO and AerVenture.

"While we take pride in our service during the past two years, [Wataniya's future] is a matter that rests with the owners of the company and will be discussed thoroughly in the upcoming general assembly meeting," the carrier says.