Czech government approves plan to salvage troubled national airline


The Czech government has approved a three-year plan to restructure the troubled Czech national carrier CSA, the finance minister said Monday.

Eduard Janota said the airline is expected to reduce its fleet by one-third as part of the plan and lay off some 10 percent of its work force.

CSA currently has a fleet of 50 planes and employs more than 3,000 people.

The changes should cut the airline loss from 3.7 billion koruna ($192 million) in 2009 to 600 million koruna ($31 million) this year, with the company expected to become profitable in 2012, Janota said.

CSA estimates last month’s volcanic ash cloud from Iceland — which grounded flights in the Czech Republic and many other European nations — cost it up to 200 million koruna ($10.4 million).

Last year, the government canceled the sale of the state-owned carrier because it said the only bid it received was too low.