Kuwait Airways’ latest full-year financial figures show the airline’s losses worsened to KD131.9 million ($435 million), the equivalent of over $17 million in losses for every aircraft in its fleet.

Its revenues for the year to 31 December 2018 rose by 10% to KD344 million.

While it slashed overall employee costs by 11% the airline was burdened by a sharp rise in its fuel expenditure, up by more than one-third for the year.

Kuwait Airways also had to absorb a doubling of maintenance costs.

Its operating loss for the year soared by 40%, amounting to KD120 million, while the net loss was up 25% to KD131.9 million.

Kuwait Airways acknowledges that – at the end of 2018 – its accumulated losses amounted to KD416 million, and that its liabilities exceeded its assets by KD208 million.

But its management “does not consider” that this equates to a material uncertainty regarding the company’s ability to continue as a going concern.

It points out that it received KD300 million additional capital from its shareholder on 3 July last year, to finance fleet-expansion plans.

“The company’s long-term financial plan envisages an increase in aircraft fleet, increased flight services to profitable sectors and cost optimisation with an aim to improve revenue and operational profits,” it adds in its full-year statement.

Kuwait Airways says it was operating 25 aircraft in 2018, of which 17 were on operating lease.

Its fleet currently comprises 27 jets, according to Cirium data, including 10 Boeing 777-300ERs, five Airbus A330-200s, and 12 Airbus single-aisle aircraft of which two are A320neos.