Qatar Airways says may buy Czech airlines stake

Published: Updated:
Qatar Airways could buy a stake in the troubled Czech Republic Airline CSA but had yet to make a final decision, the Gulf carrier’s chief executive said on Wednesday.

Qatar Airways is “interested in the privatization of the Czech airline,” Akbar al-Baker told reporters in Doha, but stressed, “We have not yet made our decision... we are still studying the proposal.”

The Czech government said in December that Qatar Airways and Korean Air had expressed an interest in buying part of CSA.

The Czech Republic is offering up to 96 percent of the entirely government-owned carrier to European investors, and would allow non-European companies to only acquire a minority stake.

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

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

Baker also said his company is “still in talks with Canadian plane maker Bombardier to buy 10 planes in a deal worth around $700 million.”

In May, Qatar Airways said it had put on hold negotiations with Bombardier over the purchase of its new CSeries craft as the airline was dealing with other issues.