Yesterday, AirFrance/KLM, one of two bidders for CSA announced to quit, leaving only one company interested (Travel Service) in buying the ailing outfit. According to CZALPA, bad management is to blame for the whole issue. The company received emergency funding in June 2009 (2.5 Billion CZK), which are almost used up (1.9 Billion in August). The airline is retiring at least six airplanes (two A310 and at least four 737-400s), hoping for a miracle. No long haul operations after October 2009, except some charters. Further, the state and some banks are looking into debt issues, as the company effectively has massively more debt than value, meaning it could be forced into bankruptcy soon. More than 800 people are made redundant, out of approximately 6000. 140 pilots will lose their jobs (out of 560).
Yes, Czechoslovak, as many Slovak citizens are still employed there, with management functions. Therefore, Czechoslovak in order to honour their fine contribution towards building the finest airline in the world.
...And apparently, yesterday the CEO had a little "talk" with government officials..His successor standing by to take over the helm. People, not connected to aviation, discussing online are mostly blaming the pilots for being "overpaid", and therefore to blame Rumours have it, that AF/KLM stepped back due to the "working contracts" of pilots. All I can say is SORRY folks..guess soon the pilots will be wearing a shirt saying "I AM A PILOT, I BANKRUPTED AN AIRLINE - CAN YOU STILL LOVE ME?" LE
SFS, no idea about the managements issues of CSA, but if you mean break-up as division of former federative republic, you're almost 2 and half year behind the political events.
For others, in CSA, the S used to mean Slovak. I presume you guys wouldn't follow the name changes in former bus/coach company called CSAD. Well, after 1993, SR had to do with dropping C, leaving SAD, CR obviously didn't have to and S suddenly translated as 'state'. No point doing 'rebranding' per se.
CSA changed its logo while ago - more graphic, in line with trendy designs.
LE obviously knows more background stuff. I'd feel sorry for all the employees. As for pilots, it'd be very dire predicament these days as CSA is major aviation employer of flight crew in CR. The 'business' for CSA didn't become better with Tomi Tour's bankruptcy either.
No management issues at the company. Just professionals and aces. What about this one; Former CFO resigned recently (was-asked-to-leave), new one joins (Mr. H.), and this poor guy got the job after they fired him from a company called ECM for poor performance. He screwed up so much, the company got into real trouble.
The VP-FLT OPS is a junior F/O, having two years of flying experience prior getting the VP job. Had to get special approval from the CAA, as he did not have an ATPL then.
VP-GND OPS went to Russia to get his degree in economics, prior to 1989 one has to add. He seems to lack common sense in general, not mentioning his managerial ability, as everyone thinks he is a clown.
Current CEO never held any top management position, he served as middle manager for several companies, one of them (a bank) went almost bankrupt.
The VP marketing told people five months ago about the imminent ("they have maximum two weeks before closing down") demise of LOT Polish airlines, providing a chance to increase business with Poland.
Issues? No, certainly not .
LE - still looking for that ultimate ATR job around!
It's a red herring with the name change...LE's fine sense of humour based on the fact that we have at least a third of the pilots with a Slovak background. Nevertheless, all else correct. May I add that the CEO has always been politically appointed. The state, as an irresponsible owner, has always reserved the cushy jobs for the chosen few. We've had the apartchiks, we've had the former minister of defence and now we have a slash-n-burn fella whose legacy will be a scorched earth policy. True to form, as a crisis manager he has been at the helm for less than three years, and now we actually have a crisis. Just as forecast. By selling everything that wasn't nailed down, some of it to dubious owners, cargo terminal comes to mind..the current CEO managed to alienate just about everyone in the company. The ones that still toe the party line are forced to do so with communist type propaganda and tactics. The only thing missing is the Kool Aid.
Czech Airlines struggle to agree upon a final restructuring plan to help the company emerge from its dismal financial state. The supervisory board estimated the company will end 2009 with a loss of 3 billion Kč (appr.116 million Ä). At the meeting on Oct. 19-20, CSA chairman Radomir Lasak has been replaced by Mr. Miroslav Dvorak.
Interestingly enough, Mr. Dvorak is also the chief executive of Prague airport operator Letiste Praha Ruzyne, both are state-owned. This appointment has fueled some speculations that doing so the carrier is trying to get some advantages at its base airport or even attempting to merge with Prague Ruzyne to solve the financing problems.
... just to revive this thread after today's news that CSA is making big cuts to their route network, see Air Transport World news item (from the MAN forum): Leaving MAN, LHR, MUC, CGN for good, cutting capacity on various other routes like VNO (very traditional one that), ZRH and such. Some increases e.g. for BEG, LED. Full details here: CSA to end service to Brno, Munich, Cologne/Bonn, Heathrow and Manchester | ATW Online To me, all this sounds all too familiar, thinking of the final days of FlyLAL and SkyEurope. At least FlyLAL tried a bit from STN after leaving LGW, not just give-up on the UK. I thought there are alliance interests at LHR and MUC, well. The count of EU countries without 'flag carrier' will increase further, it's not over yet. Anybody here from CZ with further insight into this ?
I knew CSA had cut a few routes (e.g. Heathrow), but thought this report from Bloomberg on CSA's market share at their hub, Prague was rather eye-opening - anyone else have comments ? If you're gonna say anything with reference to Malev, please don't state the blindingly obvious.
Extract: Ceske Aerolinie ASís share of passengers handled at Letiste Praha AS fell to 36 percent from 45 percent in 2009, Miroslav Dvorak, the chief executive officer of Cesky Aeroholding, told Pravo in an interview. The share should decline to 25 percent by the end of the restructuring of the unprofitable state carrier, which is being put together into a holding with the airport by the government, Dvorak said in Pravo.
One would have to think that if a hub-and-spoke airline has barely more than a third of market share at its hub in a non-primary city (Prague is not in the same league as Heathrow or Frankfurt), then the airline is going to struggle in the long term. Take it down to 25 %, and it seems to get rather concerning. High risk game - hope management know what they are doing.
I think it was worse than this. IIRC, BHX, MAN & EDI all served previously, together with STN for the LON market.
The UK isn't the be all and end all, but we are a pretty major part of the European market, witnesses by the other carriers that are serving PRG from blighty. Maybe these locos had cheapened the market, but CSA were also offering numerous connections further east, going to many markets not well served from the UK as a whole, let alone from London.
So sorry if that's my narrow UK perspective, not the Czech one, but a hub operation usually needs a good mix of o&d, and Prague could still be a competent second-tier niche player. No doubt we'll be looking at LOT next, and how Warsaw isn't quite right for connections either - never fed from the UK regions, and too far east to even serve the home market well either.
Re: naming - so what, do people start bleating that NSW & Victoria aren't mentioned in QANTAS? The industry is full of carriers which have gone through one set of changes or another and kept their name. This is the least of CSA's worries.