The Czech government is holding early-stage discussions with Korean Air Lines Co Ltd (KRX:003490) and Qatar Airways about the sale of troubled flag carrier Ceske Aerolinie AS, known as Czech Airlines (CSA), prime minister Petr Necas said today.
The cabinet will decide whether to sell CSA as early as April 2013 after considering possible bids from the two airlines, which are expected by the end of January, he said.
The privatisation process started in 2009 after the carrier posted severe losses from an unsuccessful expansion plan. Then, the only suitor, Czech charter airline Travel Service AS, dropped its bid as it was unwilling to buy CSA without getting a capital injection from the government.
CSA, which is owned by the operator of the Prague airport Czech Aeroholding AS, posted a loss of CZK241m (USD12.5m/EUR9.6m) in 2011. Back in September, the European Commission approved a EUR100m (USD130.7m) state aid for the carrier.
Qatar Airways has decided to dispose of its 35% in Luxembourg-based Cargolux Airlines International SA, after it could not reach an agreement with the cargo carrier’s shareholders in Luxembourg on the future strategy for the company, according to a Cargolux spokesman cited by Reuters.
The Cargolux investors met on Friday to discuss the company’s future strategic direction, the spokesman said.
The Qatari airline bought its stake in Cargolux in June last year from the government in Luxembourg and other shareholders. The price it had paid for the interest was not revealed.
Qatar Airways made no comment to Reuters.
Cargolux offers air freight transport services via scheduled and charter flights to freight forwarders globally, mainly transporting supply chain goods, finished commodities, project cargo, perishables, temperature and shock-sensitive goods, live animals, sensitive and high-technology equipment, as well as oversized freight shipments.