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Parliament blocks Kuwait Airways' Airbus, Boeing aircraft deal news
Our Corporate Bureau
29 August 2007

Kuwait's parliament on 28 August blocked the acquisition of $3 billion worth of Airbus and Boeing jets destined for the national airline via a leasing company. The parliament failed to approve the purchase of a total of 19 Boeing 787 Dreamliners and Airbus A320s from Kuwait's Aviation Lease Finance, effectively terminating the letter of intent.

Kuwait Airways had placed the order with Alafco to secure speedier delivery between 2009 and 2014. Tensions had grown over the last few months between some parliamentarians and the company, on what the former described as poor disclosure of information.

State-owned Kuwait Airways announced the deal in June. It has a minority stake in Alafco, a publicly traded company controlled by Kuwait Finance House, the oil-rich emirate's first Islamic bank.

Kuwait's parliament is the most powerful and lively decision-making body in the largely authoritarian oil-rich Gulf. Feisty and combative, it is unafraid to take even government ministers to task over alleged wrongdoings.

Loss-making Kuwait Airways, with a fleet of 17 aircraft, has fallen behind regional rivals like Emirates Airlines, Qatar Airways and Etihad Airways, all of which seek to serve the growing regional market as well as use the Gulf as a hub for long-haul traffic between Asia, Europe and, increasingly, the Americas.

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Parliament blocks Kuwait Airways' Airbus, Boeing aircraft deal