Czech Finance Minister Miroslav Kalousek said the Finance Ministry wants the Government to prepare Czech Airlines (CSA) parent, Cesky Aeroholding, for privatisation, according to a lidovky.cz report. "I will ask the cabinet today to request, as the main shareholder, Cesky Aeroholding to prepare the privatisation (of Czech Airlines)," Mr Kalousek said. The Government had previously tried to privatise the airline in 2009.
Czech Finance Ministry seeks new attempt to sell Czech Airlines: report
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One of the five oldest airlines in the world that are still in operation, CSA Czech Airlines is also the smallest airline in SkyTeam by passenger numbers. After several years of losses the airline returned to profit in 2015 and expects another positive result in 2016, albeit below last year's level. CSA Czech Airlines is growing once more this year, after a restructuring programme involving reductions in its fleet, capacity and headcount it has also developed a profitable contract flying business. Together with lower fuel prices, its restructuring has helped to achieve the airline's turnaround.
CSA Czech Airlines has a predominantly European network. Its only intercontinental route is from Prague to Seoul, the hub of its part-owner – codeshare partner and fellow SkyTeam member, Korean Air. Its biggest destination market is Russia, but this is followed by the Western European countries France, Italy and Germany. It has a relatively low share of seats at its hub in Prague, where LCCs have a significant share and Ryanair has opened a base this winter. However, although CSA faces strong competitors on routes to non-SkyTeam hubs, competition is limited elsewhere by its targeting of niche regional routes and its use of codeshare agreements (including with Travel Service, another part owner).