Czech Cabinet approved the sale of a 44% stake in loss-making CSA Czech Airlines to Korean Air on 13-Mar-2013, according to Prime Minister Petr Necas and as reported by ekonomika.idnes.cz. Mr Necas said the move is "a very important step that makes possible the development of CSA and Prague's international airport." “The main goal of this for both parties is to work on the development of Prague airport as a hub and CSA as a carrier so obviously there will be some changes,” CSA said. The contract will reportedly be signed on 09-Apr-2013 and the share handover will likely occur in 1H2013. Korean Air was the only bidder for the state carrier and will reportedly acquire the stake for EUR2.64 million. As previously reported, Czech Finance Minister Miroslav Kalousek has expressed support for the deal, confirming the offer of EUR2.64 million (USD3.44 million) for the 44% stake. The bid was based on an earlier estimate by Ernst & Young that valued the airline at CZK148.5 million (USD7.6 million). Korean Air’s offer met all the conditions and is binding, the Ministry said and Mr Kalousek said he has recommended the proposal to cabinet stating: "I will propose that the cabinet accept this offer. I consider it to be a great opportunity to secure the future for CSA and the Vaclav Havel Airport Prague". Korean Air already operates direct service to Prague, and under the privatisation plan it would make Prague one of its transfer points in Europe. The carrier handled 4.25 million passengers in 2011 and reported a loss of CZK241 million (USD12.19 million) in 2011, the last period for which results are available. The government was willing to sell a majority stake to a European partner or a minority stake to investors elsewhere. If the government at the next meeting approve the offer, a formal agreement could be signed in mid-Apr-2013.
Czech Airlines stake sale to Korean Air approved by Czech Cabinet: report
You may also be interested in the following articles...
Oslo Gardermoen Airport seeks Asian flights to leverage tourism to Norway; perhaps the new Iceland
Oslo Gardermoen Airport has sat out the recent boom in Asian growth. This is not just in comparison to neighbouring Helsinki's rapid Asian growth in tandem with Finnair, but even more broadly. Norway is the largest Western European country without a flight to China, and is the smallest of Western European countries with flights to Asia. Its only destination is Bangkok.
This is a juxtaposition to Norway's strong credentials: maritime and gas businesses, a wealthy population (much more so than Finland's) for outbound travel, and untapped year-round tourism opportunity – not just for Oslo but for all of Norway, from fjords in the summer to northern lights in the winter.
New management at Oslo airport wants to regain the initiative in Asia. Norway has the credentials to follow Iceland's sudden rise in tourism, especially from China. Management is considering foreign airlines, since SAS is in low-growth mode and has historically favoured Copenhagen, and Norwegian Air Shuttle lacks US approval for the NAI license it seeks – but perhaps more importantly is unable to access Russian overflight rights.
Where the A380 flies: Japan and intra-Asia routes decline while Australia & Middle East grow
The A380 is once again under media scrutiny, despite there being no major movement on the type. Comments from Air France and Qantas about not taking further A380s have long been assumed, and it has been apparent that Malaysia Airlines does not even have the need for its A380s. Singapore Airlines not renewing the lease on its first A380 is hardly surprising, and offers no definitive conclusion about the A380 or second-hand market; early A380s had different production and are not as efficient as later models. The lack of movement on the A380neo continues to irk the model's largest customer by far, Emirates, and may not make for a productive relationship as Emirates weighs an A350 or 787 order.
For most, the A380 continues to fly. How and where it flies is changing. Flights to and from the Middle East are becoming more common as Gulf airlines, and mostly Emirates, take delivery of A380s. A further shift to the Middle East is inevitable. In Japan there has been a near exodus of A380s; airlines dropping the type as they moved from Narita to Haneda, which cannot accommodate the A380 during the day, and Singapore Airlines down-gauging. Intra-Asia flying is decreasing – notable given the growth of A380s based in the region. Services by the A380 to Australia are growing, perhaps as it becomes an easy market for airlines to redeploy capacity amid European security concerns and trans-Pacific overcapacity.