UPDATE: Kuwait Airways chairwoman resigns citing 'lack of government backing'

Rasha al Roumi was the Arab world's only female airline CEO and had been turning fortunes around at the carrier which placed its first aircraft order in over 20 years last year
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Kuwait Airways Group CEO Rasha al Roumi has resigned
Kuwait Airways Group CEO Rasha al Roumi has resigned

After just three years, Kuwait Airways Corporation Chairwoman (KAC) and CEO Rasha al Roumi has resigned, the airline has confirmed.

Roumi tendered her resignation in a letter earlier this month, citing a lack of government backing and preferential treatment to other carriers, according to a report.

"Kuwait Airways has today announced the formation of a new board of directors under a ministerial decree issued by the Minister of State for Economic Affairs," the airline said in a statement to Aviation Business.

"Kuwait Airways will continue to implement the five-year strategy and change management plan announced in the fourth quarter of last year (2016)...so as to reach a sustainable financial future and profitability for the airline," it added.

The new Board of Directors is now Chaired by Mr. Sami Fahd Al-Rushaid, former chief of Kuwait National Petroleum Company, with Mr. Faleh Abdullah Al-Reqba as Vice-Chairman, and will serve "with immediate effect, for a period of three years."

Rasha Al-Roumi was appointed to lead Kuwait Airways Corporation in 2014. The only female airline CEO in the Arab World, al-Roumi had been pursuing an ambitious plan to turn around one of the Middle East's oldest carriers after two decades of tumbling profits, had left its owners considering selling off the airline.

In a heated letter announcing her resignation, al Roumi said the government had refused to honour a KD 600 million payment it had had earlier pledged to, and provided preferential treatment to another domestic competitor, according to the Kuwait Times

Al Roumi's resignation is being protested against by members of parliament in Kuwait, the only country in the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council with a semi-democratic political system, who say her statement is evidence of corruption by authorities in charge of KAC.

 

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