Czech Aeroholding stated (05-Dec-2013) it has been informed by Korean Air about its requirement to use an option to exercise its right to purchase further 34% of Czech Airline stock from Czech Aeroholding. This step is in accordance with the purchase contract on the sale of 44% of Czech Airline stock signed by Korean Air and Czech Aeroholding in Apr-2013. Korean Air will subsequently sell 34% stake to Travel Service, which will become a co-shareholder of Czech Airlines joining Korean Air which holds 44% of shares, Czech Aeroholding with the final share of 19.74% and Ceska Pojistovna which will continue to hold its 2.26% share in CSA. Korean Air explains the decision to exercise its option on further 34% of the CSA shares which is to be subsequently sold to Travel Service by its plan to reinforce its operations in Europe. Working together with Travel Service, the company wishes to make Vaclav Havel Airport Prague its European hub. The entry of Travel Service into CSA will provide Korean Air with connections to approximately 40 new destinations in Europe to which their passengers will be able to fly after their transfer at Vaclav Havel Airport Prague. With regard to the fact that Travel Service, the new shareholder, is a Czech air carrier, CSA will not lose the status of the so called national carrier. “We regard the development of Vaclav Havel Airport Prague aiming to make it a Central-European hub as absolutely crucial. The fact that Korean Air is bringing another key partner into Czech Airlines represents a step toward fulfilling this aim. I am convinced this partnership will be advantageous particularly for passengers who, in future, will be able to choose from a more quality product – a wide network of destinations – provided by the three carriers,” said Miroslav Dvorak, chairman of the Board of Directors and CEO of Czech Aeroholding. After the transaction has been approved by antitrust authorities, the Czech Airlines statutory bodies will continue to consist of three members and their composition will reflect the new shareholder structure of the company. [more - original PR]
Korean Air bringing new key partner into CSA Czech Airlines– Travel Service
You may also be interested in the following articles...
CSA Czech Airlines: restructuring, partnerships, and now growth for SkyTeam's smallest airline
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).
Alitalia: "everyone has to pull in the same direction" – ongoing issues, and viability is at stake.
After Alitalia’s board approved the second phase of its business plan on 22-Dec-2016, CEO Cramer Ball stressed the importance of achieving the support of its workforce. He said, “Everyone has to pull in the same direction to make Alitalia a viable, sustainable success story and help the airline achieve its ambition of long-term growth and profitability”. Alitalia suffered strike action from some flight crew in 2016.
Full details of the plan, which has received the support of Italy's government, have not yet been made public. Alitalia's network strategy includes further long haul growth and a reworking of its short haul operation, with an emphasis on feeding long haul via Rome and Milan. Other elements of the plan include cost-cutting, reduced headcount and possible changes to joint venture agreements. Details are to be presented to Alitalia’s workforce in Jan-2017.
Also on 22-Dec-2016, Alitalia's shareholders approved short-term funding and gave management 60 days to begin negotiations with key stakeholders - lessors, suppliers and distribution companies, in addition to trade unions. Alitalia needs their support for deep cost reduction measures, in order to win the long-term financing needed to secure the airline's future.