KUWAIT: Further to an opinion piece appearing in Kuwait Times (Nov 22, 2016) requesting a response from Kuwait Airways, the national airline of Kuwait is pleased to further clarify and add to its widely-circulated statement on Friday, Nov 18 that discussions relating to voluntary retirements and job reassignments, taken by former employees of the airline, have been successfully concluded.
In direct response to the column’s reported number of 37 pilots, who earlier this year resigned in order to take up alternative jobs in government departments, Kuwait Airways has stated on several occasions that all discussions over the pilots rejoining the airline have been conducted with the full cooperation of the government and within the framework of the law.
It should be clear that the pilots in question were not singled out for reassignment, but as per the law, Kuwait Airways must regularly offer voluntary schemes giving employees three options: To stay with the airline, to be transferred to a government job, or to take a “golden handshake” retirement package. All the pilots in the recent negotiations had voluntarily chosen to join a government role, before then looking to rejoin the airline.
Kuwait Airways’ statement published on Nov 18 detailed the agreement and the resolution reached between the government, represented by Minister of State for Housing Affairs and Acting Transport Minister Yasser Hassan Abul, and Kuwait Airways, the national carrier. The main areas of discussion, as previously reported, were conducted with transparency and related to general conditions of employment and transfers. Subject to the provisions contained within the Privatization Law (No. 6 – 2008), Kuwait Airways was in full compliance.
The agreement with the government means that pilots who had already left the airline and transferred to a government payroll, under the Civil Service Commission (CSC), can rejoin Kuwait Airways on new contracts. Pilots who had not yet transferred to a government job will resume work with no interruption in their service benefits, as per the law.
As the country’s national carrier, Kuwait Airways remains fully committed to the hiring of highly-trained Kuwaiti nationals. In fact, at this time, there are currently two new groups of Kuwaitis undergoing pilot training, therefore ensuring a strong national identity is maintained among its flight crew – now and well into the future.