Czech appoints new team to battle losses

Czech appoints new team to battle losses

Czech Airlines has picked the head of Prague Airport as its new chief executive with a mission to drive through an essential turnaround plan for the loss-making national carrier.

Miroslav Dvorak, chief executive of Prague airport operator Letiste Praha, will replace Radomir Lasak as the new chairman of the board of ?SA. Dvorak will remain chief executive at the airport, a separate state-owned company.

The airline’s supervisory board will be newly headed by economist Miroslav Zamecnik replacing Vaclav Novak. Novak resigned after his plan to turn around the loss-making airline was rejected.

The moves follow weeks of prolonged negotiations with pilots over wage cuts, and comes before a decision, expected this week on whether the state will accept the only privatisation bid on the table.

Czech Airlines expects to post a 3.2 billion crown ($186 million) loss this year despite efforts to halt the company’s slide into the red. The new management team will aim to continue cutting costs and seek synergies with the home hub, Prague Airport.

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The company slipped into deep losses after a poorly executed expansion plan in the past years, worsened by a more than 10 percent fall in traffic amid the global economic slump.