Kuwait City: A lawyer has urged in a lawsuit the suspension of all Kuwait Airways Corp flights for safety reasons, a day after the government grounded five aircraft.

Hawra Al Habeeb called on the court to assign an expert team to examine the 17-strong fleet of the flag carrier to establish if the aircraft are fit to fly after a string of incidents, the most recent of which was last week.

“The malfunctions at Kuwait Airways planes pose a serious danger to passengers’ lives while the government has failed to take any measure,” Habeeb said in a statement after filing the suit.

The court has not set a date for the case but is expected to do so in the coming days.

KAC chief and communications minister Salem Al Othaina said on Sunday that the government has decided to ground three to five ageing aircraft for repeated malfunctions. A decision to ground more planes was expected later, he said.

The state-owned carrier has a fleet of 15 Airbus and two Boeing aircraft that were acquired about 20 years ago, and which have had many technical problems over the past few years.

The lawsuit and the minister’s comments came as a KAC flight from Kuwait to Jeddah in Saudi Arabia narrowly escaped disaster on Wednesday because of engine problems.

The Airbus A300 with 186 passengers on board made an emergency landing in the city of Medina, the latest of a series of reported breakdowns in the KAC fleet.

Kuwait has delayed plans to privatise the loss-making carrier and decided instead to restructure the airline after private buyers offered a low price.

Kuwait Airways has posted a loss in all but one of the past 21 years, amounting to more than $2.7 billion (Dh9.91 billion). Losses are covered by the state because the carrier is entirely government-owned.