Almost a week ago, Wataniya Airways posted on its main website that it’s suspending all its flights starting from March 16th, 2011 due to heavy losses and an immediate call for the board to look into the future of the company. This news hit me hard, as a big fan of Wataniya Airways. I’ve enjoyed the growth of this airline through expansion and launching a frequent flyer program, but nonetheless it should be noted that everyone had major objections on how the company was running its business. Unfortunately, some of what I’m going to say could be true but it’s summarized from lots of global frequent flyers who looked into the issue of the Rise and fall of Wataniya Airways. I would like to mention some that I feel related to and believe in.
- The airline started as a premium luxury airline, then shifted into the round-the-clock promo offers just to sell off seats. None knew the actual state of the Wataniya Airways, was it still a premium or shifted into the cheap jet services?
- Very weird set of destinations. Started off with some luxury spots in the Middle East, ignored South-West Asia and set their eyes on Europe, very bad move. They should have focused their eyes on getting all the routes for the GCC countries, the Middle East to establish good customer base and make up for the annual losses.
- Code-share with Austrian Airlines was very pricey, since a lot preferred to take on Emirates, Qatar Airways rather than have the connection at VIE airport in Austria.
- Cancellation of important routes, majorly the BAH which is sold daily for businessmen and Kuwaiti students. Very bad move.
- Late introduction of the business class, when it should have been done in the beginning. They had only First and economy and F class wasn’t really first, it was truly J class. So, to let businessmen travel on J class, they had to late introduce such and cancel the F class. Amateur move and very late.
- The Silver/Gold Diwan members or F class ticket holders enjoyed the distinguished services only at Sheikh Saad Airport in KWI and some other airports, meanwhile you get nothing for example in Turkey. My cousin wasn’t even allowed to enter the lounge in Sabiha Gokcen International Airport SAW because Wataniya Airways didn’t get into arrangement to share the lounge with Turkish Airlines.
In the end, I just hope that they would recover from this mishap and learn from their mistakes and I’d love to see them back in the blue skies once again! All the best wishes for Wataniya Airways to rise like a phoenix from the ashes!