Kuwait based Wataniya Airways is starting its direct flight to Kathmandu from Kuwait today. After receiving an operating authorization from the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA) on October 30, the first flight was scheduled to come into operation on November 29 but the airline rescheduled the flight to start from today.
The first flight of Wataniya Airways Q9547 will depart at 3:30 pm (local time) from Kuwait which will land in Kathmandu at 11 pm (local time) and return flight Q9548 is scheduled to fly back at 11:59 PM today. The airline is beginning the direct flight to address growing travel demands of migrant workers working in Kuwait. It will be operating six flights a week which will be beneficial as this flight operation will save both time and money of passengers as they have to use Saudi Arabian route to travel to Kuwait currently.
Nepal and Kuwait signed an air service agreement in January 2006. Kuwait is one of the preferred destinations for Nepali migrant workers so; the service will certainly benefit them. At present, Nepalese have to travel via Saudi Arabia to reach Kuwait. Direct flight operation by Wataniya airways could also make the ticket price cheaper.
Wataniya Airways was founded in 2006 and started its service with an Airbus A320 in January 2009. Its hub is Kuwait International Airport and is initiating flights to Lebanon, Egypt, Bahrain, Iraq, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Azerbaijan, Georgia with its two Airbus A320s.
On 16 March 2011, Wataniya Airways ceased all its operations because of financial difficulties, and began discussions with its shareholders to determine the future of the company. It again received Air Operator Certificate (AOC) on 19th June, 2017.