Qatar Airways interested in Czech Airlines

Gulf carrier along with Korean Air said to be eyeing Czech Airline's privatisation

Korean Air and Qatar Airways have expressed interest in the privatisation of Czech Airlines (CSA), two sources familiar with the government's sale process said on Wednesday.

The Finance Ministry is in the early stages of preparing the sale of the state carrier and has reached out to 52 airline companies. Minister Miroslav Kalousek briefed the cabinet on Wednesday.

The government had tried to privatise the airline in 2009, following heavy losses from a failed expansion plan.

Czech Airlines, a member of the Sky Team alliance which also includes Delta and Air France, has had to cut back its fleet and services to avoid collapse.

The airline lost CZK241m (US$12.10m) last year.

The company is owned by state holding group Cesky Aeroholding, which also operates Prague Airport.

In September, the EU Commission gave approval for €100m in state aid granted to Czech Airlines.

The Commission said the company's restructuring plan was sufficient to address its financial problems.

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