Czech government launches tender for Czech Airlines
The Czech Republic's Foreign Ministry said Thursday it launched a tender for the state-controlled national carrier Czech Airlines, which is planned to produce a buyer by September 30.
Candidates need to submit applications by noon on March 23, the ministry said in a statement, reported dpa.
Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek's center-right government plans to pick the buyer of the state's 91.51-per-cent share in a two-tier tender.
The cabinet is to select a pool of bidders in the first phase, planning to rule out applicants from countries regarded as supporting terrorism or from states that violate human rights.
The highest bid is to win the second round, officials said.
The rules also require that bidders have assets valued at more than 5 billion koruny (238 million dollars). They will also have to ensure that the airline remains a national-style carrier and bases its fleet in Prague for at least five years.
Russia's Aeroflot and Czech low-cost and charter carrier Travel Service confirmed their interest in the airline.
Most analysts estimate the carrier's price at 3 to 5 billion koruny. The cabinet decided to retain the right to cancel the privatization at any time.
Topolanek's government also plans to sell Prague's Ruzyne International Airport before its term is up in 2010.