Poland's Kraków Airport announced a “large” stake in the airport will be sold in 2011 (Dziennik Gazeta Prawna/Warsaw Business Journal, 08-Feb-2011). The airport stated current shareholders want to increase the airport’s capital by PLN250-300 million (USD90-105 million), which means a stake of up to 30% could be sold. Krakow stated the funds would be directed towards the expansion of the passenger terminal. The Polish Airports State Enterprise has a 76.2% stake in the airport. Krakow’s privatisation would be the third airport in Poland to be owned by the private sector.
Kraków Airport eyeing privatisation in 2011
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On 8-Sep-2016 LOT Polish Airlines announced its "2020 profitable growth strategy". This involves a goal to achieve "sustainable viability", after a restructuring programme which returned LOT to operating profit in 2014 after six loss-making years. Its privatisation may even be back on the agenda.
LOT currently ranks behind LCCs Ryanair and Wizz Air by share of traffic in Poland, which offers superior traffic growth potential versus Europe as a whole. The airline aims to increase passenger numbers from 4.3 million in 2015 to 10 million in 2020, growing its fleet from 43 to 70 aircraft. LOT's expansion will focus on long haul, particularly North America and Asia, where it currently has only five routes and where competition is considerably lower than on short/medium haul. Initial plans include the launch of Warsaw-Seoul this winter and a return to Warsaw-New York Newark next summer.
According to data from LOT, its restructuring has left it with a fairly efficient cost base by legacy airline standards and this will be important in competing with LCCs (but there is still a cost gap with LCCs). LOT's growth will focus on long haul but will need short-haul European feed – and partnerships. Although LOT no longer appears to be considering leaving the Star Alliance, it remains excluded from American and Asian JVs. Further, those JVs preclude members from working with LOT. Partnership growth will be as critical as it will be challenging.
Global Airport Development Conference report: Trump, Brexit, pipelines and PPPs. Part 2
This report on the Global Airport Development Conference held in Lisbon on 29-Nov to 01-Dec-2016 covers the proceedings of Day 2 of the event. Part 1 was published on 5-Dec-2016.