Qatar Airways and Korean Air mull buying Czech CSA

Qatar Airways and Korean Air have expressed interest in buying part of the Czech Republic airline CSA, the government said on Wednesday.

"The government is honoured by the interest of these two eminent and serious companies in the air transport sector," Finance Minister Miroslav Kalousek told journalists.

The Czech government is looking for a strategic investor already active in the sector to take over the national airline and could make a decision by March or April, he added.

The state, which owns 100 percent of CSA, is offering up to 96 percent of the carrier to European investors but would allow non-European suitors to acquire only a minority stake.

A previous attempt to privatise CSA, which is beset by financial problems, was halted in 2009 when AirFrance-KLM backed out, leaving a local charter company as the sole bidder.

In 2011, CSA posted a loss of 241 millions koruna (9.5 million euros,$12.4 million).

jma/rl/wai

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