CSA to sell 5 planes, duty free unit to generate cash


PRAGUE – The board of the troubled Czech national carrier CSA has approved a plan to sell five planes and other assets in efforts to generate cash.

The airline said in a statement Wednesday it plans to sell its three Boeing 737-500s and two Boeing 737-400s as well as its duty free unit, and secure loans from banks to get up to 5 billion koruna ($286 million) in the next nine moths.

The airline didn’t say how much cash it needs.

The government plans to sell its 91.5 percent stake at the airline but Czech consortium Unimex-Travel Service, the only bidder in the latest public tender, has offered only 1 billion Czech koruna ($57 million) for the airline, far below what the Czech government said it expected earlier this year.

The caretaker Czech government of Jan Fischer should decide in the coming weeks whether to accept the offer. The airline had already said it would lay off up to 860 employees and plans to announce further “drastic” cuts next week.

Czech Airlines is a member of the SkyTeam Alliance that includes Air France-KLM.