Czech Republic mulls sale of flagship carrier CSA

Czech Prime Minister Petr Necas said Thursday that his right-wing coalition might try again to privatise Czech Airlines (CSA) before the carrier completes a restructuring drive next year.

"We are doing market studies, and certain opportunities are there," Necas told reporters in Prague following a cabinet meeting, before adding that the government was seeking a "strategic partner for CSA."

An initial bid to privatise the airline ground to a halt in 2009 amid serious financial problems. Necas said Thursday that the process of resolving those problems had accelerated considerably.

In 2009, the Czech investment group Unimex had offered around 40 million euros (51 million dollars) for the airline after Air France/KLM dropped out of the running. Unimex made its offer conditional on a thorough restructuring of CSA.

In 2011, the carrier posted a loss of 9.5 million euros.

The Czech Republic fell into recession early this year and the central bank expects the economy to contract by an annualised 0.9 percent, before growing by 0.2 percent in 2013.

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