Turkish Airlines chairman Hamdi Topçu stated the carrier has accelerated studies to acquire LOT Polish Airlines following an earlier request on the subject by the Polish Government. As reported by Today's Zaman, Mr Topçu said he met with Polish Economy Minister Waldemar Pawlak in Dec-2011 to discuss the privatisation of LOT, with the Minister asking Turkish Airlines if "we would like to acquire the carrier". Mr Topçu said the carrier would meet again to evaluate the sale. “Following our studies in the market we have finally decided LOT would be a profitable option.… We hope this will be a win-win operation to benefit both sides,” he noted.
Turkish Airlines could acquire LOT Polish Airlines
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Mongolia aviation: liberalisation, end of MIAT protection needed to drive growth at new airport
Mongolia’s stagnant aviation market is at an important juncture as the country prepares to open a new airport at the capital Ulaanbaatar in May-2018. In order to drive growth and ensure the new airport does not turn into a white elephant, the government needs to adopt a new more liberal aviation policy and stop protecting its flag carrier.
Mongolia’s international market has not grown in the past four years due, in part, to protective policies. In the latest examples of protectionism, Mongolia has refused to allow Kazakhstan’s Air Astana to launch flights and has not approved more capacity for Turkish Airways that is needed for new nonstop flights from Istanbul.
The Mongolian market has huge potential, and increased tourism would have an overall economic benefit far greater than the negative impact on the government owned MIAT Mongolian Airlines from increased competition. With the new airport about to open, it is even more crucial for Mongolia to liberalise – not only by opening up to all interested foreign airlines, but also by ending MIAT’s monopoly on ground handling services and making sure the airport’s charges are low enough to support new flights.
Georgia aviation market Part 2: a case study on liberal policies driving rapid airport growth
Georgia’s three international airports have benefitted from a liberal aviation policy, which has led to a period of rapid traffic growth. As highlighted in the first half of this report, total passenger traffic in Georgia increased by 26% in 2016 and is projected to grow by another 40% in 2017.
Passenger traffic at Georgia’s main gateway, Tbilisi International Airport, increased by 22% in 2016. Tbilisi traffic has grown from only 700,000 in 2009 to 2.3 million in 2016. The airport has been operated by Turkey’s TAV since 2007.
Georgia’s other two international airports, at Batumi and Kutaisi, grew even faster in 2016. Batumi also has been operated by TAV since 2007, while Kutaisi has been government owned since it opened in 2012.
Kutaisi is marketed as a low cost airport – the first of its kind in former Soviet republics – and has experienced an accelerated rate of growth since the opening of a base by Wizz Air in Sep-2016. Georgia’s investment in Kutaisi, and decision to pursue an LCC model for the new airport, represent another example of a liberal and innovative approach in a region dominated by legacy thinking.