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When Jazeera Airways posted an annual loss of KD8.2 million ($28.4 million) in 2009, the outlook appeared bleak for Kuwait’s fledging private aviation sector.
The emirate’s much-vaunted liberalisation drive had now produced two struggling private carriers – also including Wataniya Airways, which was months away from bankruptcy – and flag carrier Kuwait Airways continued its two-decade-long run of almost uninterrupted annual losses.
For Jazeera chairman Marwan Boodai, however, the finger of blame was pointing squarely outside of Kuwait. He believed that larger regional competitors were dumping capacity in the emirate in order to re-route traffic through their own hubs. The success of Jazeera’s subsequent turnaround plan appears to have validated that judgement...