Archive for the ‘Wataniya Airways Saga’ Category

Wataniya Airways refunds its passengers

Monday, November 12th, 2012

it seems that wataniya airways' saga is reaching a happy ending - after starting the settlement process with the employees paying half their dues in addition to 10% lawyers fees, the airline is on its way to settle the disputes with all its customers.

unfortunately the image is not good enough to decipher the detail of the above memo, so i will translate some of the things i could read - basically the memo (dated september 17th) starts with an apology over what happened and informs customers who bought tickets between 16/03/2010 and 16/03/2011 of the refund according to the following procedures:

  1. customers who bought tickets from travel agencies and couldn't travel: wataniya airways will start refunding all travel agencies through IATA, and customers are invited to contact their travel agents starting 30/11/2012 to settle their tickets
  2. customers who booked directly through the airline's website, sales offices or hotline:
  • customers who pursued legal action against the airline: the airline will refund the value of the tickets in addition to the lawyer's fees - customers must send copies of their IDs, tickets & legal fees to knainfo@yahoo.com - the airline will refund the balance within a month, provided customers drop their lawsuits at the ministry of justice notary
  • customers who filed a complain against the airline at the DGCA (civil aviation): these are requested to submit a copy of their complaint in addition to a copy of their IDs & tickets to knainfo@yahoo.com - the airline will then refund the tickets within a month while customers will be requested to sign a complaint clearance
  • customers who did not file a lawsuit or a complaint at the DGCA: they are requested to send copies of their IDs & tickets to knainfo@yahoo.com and the airline will reimburse them within a month, after which they will be requested to sign a receipt

fantastic news from wataniya airways - hope they come back soon!

update: it seems they have activated their website where they posted this memo clearly - visit www.wataniyaairways.com

related stories:

conflicting Wataniya Airways settlements news

will the airline ever pay?

it simply breaks my heart

wataniya Airways sells assets to pay KIB not its staff

wataniya airways' AGM postponed!

wataniya airways taking-off, or is it just positive PR?

wataniya airways sends staff ambiguous letter

wataniya airways fears law suit agrees to "connect" with staff

wataniya airways staff to sue the airline.. what a pleasure!

wataniya airways staff get first class treatment

more trouble ahead for wataniya airways

wataniya airways closing down

Conflicting Wataniya Airways settlements news

Thursday, July 26th, 2012

well, to start with, there was an ad in the papers this week calling for an assembly general meeting on august 8th, on the agenda the future of the company - though i am sure nothing will come out of this agm, i read on the wataniya airways' staff facebook page that one of the captains received a court order in his favor - salma dabdoub in the above snapshot is the lawyer's secretary where a group of ex-wataniya staff have filed a suit against the airline.

this attorney has informed some of his clients that he has single-handily refused a 40% settlement by the airline, whereas another group received a more generous offer of 50% settlement - this guy on facebook is saying that this offer has been communicated via email by wataniya airways.

very fishy news from both groups, not sure what is happening here - the first group is also complaining from their lawyer saying he should have consulted them before refusing the 40% settlement.

nevertheless, this seems to be approaching a closure, i guess we'll get more news around october.

related posts:

will the airline ever pay?

it simply breaks my heart

wataniya Airways sells assets to pay KIB not its staff

wataniya airways' AGM postponed!

wataniya airways taking-off, or is it just positive PR?

wataniya airways sends staff ambiguous letter

wataniya airways fears law suit agrees to "connect" with staff

wataniya airways staff to sue the airline.. what a pleasure!

wataniya airways staff get first class treatment

more trouble ahead for wataniya airways

wataniya airways closing down

Will the airline ever pay?

Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

i read in alaqabas this morning that the supreme court has ordered wataniya airways to pay the passengers who bought tickets prior to its collapse, a 500 kd compensation in addition to the value of their tickets - this group of passengers had already sued the airline through bassam alasousi who won the case and released this statement today.

the question is will they ever pay and where will the money come from?

Wataniya Airways taking-off again?

Thursday, November 17th, 2011

it seems that wataniya airways is going to resume flights once again, but this time headed by emad bukhamseen
 - alseyasah daily reported that a meeting between wataniya airways' stakeholders and alafco's (the aircraft leasing company) chairman was held to discuss the lease of two aircraft in preparation for the re-launch.

the plan is to raise the capital to pay the debts then reduce it again, followed by hiring a new management - what i also know is that some of the previous employees were contacted in an effort to lure them back in.

i think this is great news, i'd love to see wataniya airways taking off again and close this saga once and for all.

related posts:

wataniya Airways sells assets to pay KIB not its staff

wataniya airways' AGM postponed!

wataniya airways taking-off, or is it just positive PR?

wataniya airways sends staff ambiguous letter

wataniya airways fears law suit agrees to "connect" with staff

wataniya airways staff to sue the airline.. what a pleasure!

wataniya airways staff get first class treatment

more trouble ahead for wataniya airways

wataniya airways closing down

Wataniya Airways sells assets to pay KIB not its staff

Sunday, October 9th, 2011

it seems that wataniya airways is setting up an auction to sell a bunch of cars worth kd 67,250 - the money will go to KIB as the airline owes the bank kd 6 million - obviously, wataniya arways staff has gone nuts over this as they were laid-off without indemnities or salary pay and this money should be used for that purpose.

this is so unfair... sometimes i wonder if there's any justice at all!

related posts:

wataniya airways' AGM postponed!

wataniya airways taking-off, or is it just positive PR?

wataniya airways sends staff ambiguous letter

wataniya airways fears law suit agrees to "connect" with staff

wataniya airways staff to sue the airline.. what a pleasure!

wataniya airways staff get first class treatment

more trouble ahead for wataniya airways

wataniya airways closing down

Wataniya Airways, come back!!!!!!

Monday, June 27th, 2011



a friend of mine traveled this week-end and took a picture of the airport - there was so much traffic the queue to the check-in desk went all the way to debenhams! in this area all the passengers for jazeera airways, flydubai, srilankan airways and nasair were stuck like sheep in a truck.

the first picture was taken around 5:00pm on wednesday and it took people about an hour just to reach the x-ray machine - the second picture shows the luggage piled up behind the check-in desk - the luggage belts did not work and they kept stopping and starting and when they finally ran, they were as fast as a turtle in a race - the lady behind the check-in counter told me that it is like this every night and there is never any new construction to improve the situation - horrendous! so if you’re traveling for the summer you better get there early folks!

thank you mary for the post.

Wataniya Airways’ AGM postponed!

Thursday, May 12th, 2011

wataniya airways AGM has been postponed for 2 weeks - only 30 % of shareholders showed up so no surprise there!

chairman and CEO of the now out-of-business carrier abdulsalam al-bahar said wednesday that resumption of wataniya airways operations relies on its shareholders' approval of adding kd 15 million to its capital - "raising capital might take six months and requires an amiri decree for the purpose of reconstruction," al-bahar told reporters on the sideline of the company's general assembly.

most demands of the 600 laid-off employees would be met by the company, he said - though our sources say the employees will officially proceed with the law suit - albahar attributed the sudden decision to stop flights to the absence of a law that protects the company from debtors, unlike some foreign laws, especially chapter 11's bankruptcy code in the united states.

on why KSE did not stop wataniya shares from trading despite the suspension decision, al-bahar said the company addressed the market several times to stop trading, but KSE decided to re-list the stock for circulation - stock is trading for 0.024 fils yesterday, expect a series of drops the next couple of days..

related posts:

countdown to wataniya airways' fate - 10 days left

wataniya airways taking-off, or is it just positive PR?

wataniya airways sends staff ambiguous letter

wataniya airways fears law suit agrees to "connect" with staff

wataniya airways staff to sue the airline.. what a pleasure!

wataniya airways staff get first class treatment

more trouble ahead for wataniya airways

wataniya airways closing down

Countdown to Wataniya Airways’ fate – 10 days left

Sunday, May 1st, 2011

the countdown to the airline's fate begins, will it be an exit or a new entry to the market - the ministry of commerce and industry approved last thursday the date for wataniya airways' ordinary and extraordinary general assembly, which will be held on may 11, 2011.

a source revealed to al watan that the agenda of the general assembly will no longer include a proposal to reduce the capital, which was aimed at reducing the accumulated losses of the company, to protect ownership rights and upon the desire of many - the option to increase the capital by kd 15 million in order to restructure the company is however still on the table.

the source noted that there is some uncertainty on whether extraordinary general assembly will be held based on the fact that the quorum of 75 percent of shareholders must be reached - but the quorum may be attained as a large number of shareholders are expected to attend the general assembly to become aware of the company's future plans, considering its recent conditions including suspension of commercial operations and all flights since march 16, 2011 and the dismissal of all but 30 employees.

it is worth mentioning that the ministry of affairs froze wataniya's labour file, meaning that staff residencies, transferring visas, extensions and such are now being done by the ministry and not the company - this tells a lot about the level of credibility and trust the company has reached with the official authorities.

how can this company stand on its feet again? i seriously doubt it will ever resume operations, but i also hope they prove me wrong.

related posts:

wataniya airways taking-off, or is it just positive PR?

wataniya airways sends staff ambiguous letter

wataniya airways fears law suit agrees to "connect" with staff

wataniya airways staff to sue the airline.. what a pleasure!

wataniya airways staff get first class treatment

more trouble ahead for wataniya airways

wataniya airways closing down

Wataniya Airways taking-off again, or is it just positive PR?

Thursday, April 21st, 2011

after shutting down half of its roots and firing half of its staff, wataniya airways released news saying that the airline is growing its destinations across the globe through vienna...

yesterday, the airline sends kuwait stock exchange a clarification from the board of directors which had decided to put an additional close on the general assembly meeting's agenda proposing a reduction of the airline's capital, the payment of the accumulated losses, followed by a kd 15 million increase of capital and a major restructuring of the company.

though this might sound like great news, it is not! by connecting the dots and by simply looking at the airline's history in faking good news by publishing good PR, you quickly realize that all this is just sand in the face...

wataniya's debts total millions of kds (alafco put aside), from catering to fuel to every single airport the airline used to fly to.. all these suppliers need to be paid before a single airplane can even start its engines... the kd 15 million will be gone in a matter of seconds.. so what's behind the fake good news? i guess we'll have to wait and see, we may be wrong with our analysis but the writing is on the wall!

to watch, the airline's share price which will resume trading today - what will the shareholders do? sell and run or swallow the poisonous shares? the saga continues..

by the way, i am starting a new category called wataniya airways saga as the subject seems promising..

related posts:

wataniya airways sends staff ambiguous letter

wataniya airways fears law suit agrees to "connect" with staff

wataniya airways staff to sue the airline.. what a pleasure!

wataniya airways staff get first class treatment

more trouble ahead for wataniya airways

wataniya airways closing down

Wataniya Airways sends “staff” ambiguous letter

Tuesday, April 19th, 2011

further to the last meeting held between wataniya airways and staff representatives, wataniya airways finally issued termination a letter to its employees - however, the letter was described as "ambiguous" and did not really answer the staff's concerns - the letter was dissected and some serious questions were raised on virtually every point.

one major concern was the absence of time frame as nothing mentioned when or how the employees dues will be settled! another concern was the selective use of the labor law - if all was as per the labor law, why is the airline breaching its articles on daily basis and why are their contracts also being breached???

here's the full letter analysis as received by a staff's representative:

Disclaimer,

The following post represents our teams point of view, we are NOT lawyers, but like most of the educated members of this group, it is safe to assume that we know how to read and interpret the law from a layman’s perspective, please use your own common sense and good judgment to assess and evaluate what’s written below. DO NOT quote us on any of the below labor law articles, please do your home work and read the labor law yourself.

THE TEAM
------------------------------------------

------------------------------------------ 

Anatomy 101, how to dissect an email ;)

Take note of the following points, please read carefully, cross reference the numbers below with the numbers on the email scan in the photos section.

a- “Staff” = as per labor law, you are no longer “staff” since as par article # 48 you have the right to terminate the contract without notification if the employer does not abide by the terms of the contract OR the provisions of the law, which happened already, since as per article # 56 payments SHALL NOT be delayed for more than 7 days, not to mention that as per article # 61 that he (the employer) SHALL also pay the remuneration of workers throughout the complete or partial period of closure if the closure is due to any other reason not related to the workers, as long as the employer wishes them to keep working for his account.

b- “With reference” = in the Arabic version its written “in addition to”, which gives it a different legal meaning, addition to means this is an appendix or part of the termination letter, with reference means this is merely a clarification of a previous correspondence.

c- “Terminated” = once again, “terminated” literally means terminated, it is not a notice period, if the termination letter was a notice period, it would have clearly mentioned that the 7th or march was the start of your 3 month notice, ending in you being “terminated” on the 7th of July.

d- “Subsequent legal and procedural measures” - “implications of some further procedures” = the only “measures” and “procedures” to be carried out by the company now is to pay us our dues, as per the continuation of article # 48 that the worker SHALL be entitled to his end of service benefits, as per article # 52 the worker is entitled to the entire end of service benefits, and as per article # 44 -b, you are also eligible for the compensation of the notice period if the party wishing to terminate the contract (in our case the company) does not abide by the period of notice.

f- “notification” = in the Arabic version its written as “request”, although there is a major difference between “requesting for permission to leave” and “notifying you that I’m leaving without waiting for your approval”, either terms are wrong anyway since once again you are no longer “staff” as per the explanation above.

g- “administrative measures applicable in such cases” = it is no secret that some employees were and still are being bargained to leave a part of their total financial dues in order to be given an immediate release, needles to say it is within the company’s power by law to not give you an immediate release, that’s mentioned in the famous article # 44-d, BUT for that to happen, as per the continuation of article # 44-d, you have to be WITHIN your 3 month notice (not our case, we are already terminated), you have to still be an employee (not our case) you have to be paid your entitlements and remuneration for the period of notification (not our case too)

What you will be told to believe is that you are still an employee! And that as per article # 53, if you want to leave now you will get an indemnity of HALF a month for every year of work since YOU are the one who’s terminating the contract!!!

h- “the end of service settlements dues will be in accordance with Kuwaiti labor law” = why is it not mentioned that it will be in accordance to our contracts??? Is there a try to enforce the labor law instead of the contracts??? Article # 6 states that the labor law shall represent the MINIMUM level of workers rights, therefore, if your contract allocates more entitlements it is to your benefit!!! why is it not mentioned WHEN or HOW these dues will be settled??? if all was per the labor law, why are several articles of the labor law being breached on daily basis??? why was our contracts breached??? why are we being led to believe that we are still employees??? And why oh why is the intentional ambiguity???

related posts:

wataniya airways fears law suit agrees to "connect" with staff

wataniya airways staff to sue the airline.. what a pleasure!

wataniya airways staff get first class treatment

more trouble ahead for wataniya airways

wataniya airways closing down

Wataniya Airways fears law suit agrees to “connect” with staff

Saturday, April 16th, 2011

wataniya airways seems to be feeling the pressure as it finally agreed to meet with staff representatives to discuss the employees' rights - though the airline always wanted to be "the best connection" - connecting with staff would have never materialized had the employees not unified their efforts and consult a lawyer.

staff representatives voiced their concerns over the company's attitude towards them and put forward their demands - on the other hand, the company seemed to be buying time as it suggested a weekly meeting with the CMD to keep them informed on next steps as nothing will happen before the general assembly meeting that will eventually decide to liquidate the company.

according to the airline's CMD, chances to resume operations are as low as 5%, so why wait for the general assembly meeting? the only update the CMD will bring you guys is the decision to liquidate the airline - my advice to you is not to play that game - obviously wataniya airways is buying time so "strike while the iron is hot".

related posts:

wataniya airways staff to sue the airline.. what a pleasure!

wataniya airways staff get first class treatment

more trouble ahead for wataniya airways

wataniya airways closing down

Wataniya Airways staff to sue the airline.. what a pleasure!

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

wataniya airways staff have finally decided to sue the airline after officially hearing from the airline that the staff will not be paid before the general assembly meeting - different groups met this week at the ministry of justice and signed their power of attorneys - sources say have gathered a sufficient number of plaintiffs to launch the case

what is remarkable is the teamwork spirit among the staff who elected representatives at the ministry of justice as well as the law firm to help facilitate the process of signing the necessary contracts.

the staff is also helping those who are in dire need for food - some supermarkets like lulu were kind enough to give whatever is needed - thanks to lulu hypermarket for being so generous and understanding.

related posts:

wataniya airways staff get first class treatment

more trouble ahead for wataniya airways

wataniya airways closing down