Kuwait Airways is to shed 1,500 foreign personnel in response to the problems presented by the coronavirus crisis.

The flag-carrier states that the “difficult decision” follows the “great hardships that the company is facing” as a result of the impact on the air transport sector.

As a result of the “negative impact” on its commercial operation, the airline says, it is laying off nearly 1,500 non-Kuwaiti personnel across various department.

Kuwait Airways has not specified which divisions will be affected.

The country’s government effectively shut the emirate off to commercial air traffic from mid-March.

Kuwait Airways was already heavily loss-making, according to its full-year 2018 accounts, which showed a net loss of nearly KD132 million ($427 million).