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Czech Republic

Czech government approves CSA airline sale terms  Jan 19, 2009

PRAGUE - The Czech government approved on Monday two-round tender conditions for the sale of national carrier Czech Airlines (CSA), pushing ahead with the privatisation despite a deepening global economic crisis.

The government plans to sell its 91.5 percent stake in the airline, expected to fetch up to 5 billion crowns ($241.8 million), by September.

CSA had a history of losses before breaking even in the past two years thanks to cost-saving measures and the sale of non-core assets.

Bidders in the first round will need to address conditions such as keeping CSA's status as a national or European carrier to prevent the airline from losing some of its most profitable routes outside the European Union.

That could occur if the carrier is sold to a foreign owner because of strict bilateral rules that grant reciprocal take-off and landing rights based on the nationality of airlines' owners.

Price would be the main criteria in the final round, the ministry said.

Russia's Aeroflot, CSA's fellow member in the SkyTeam alliance, is the only airline that has shown public interest in the Czech airline so far.

Czech government approves CSA airline sale terms
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