BRUSSELS Feb 23 EU competition regulators
opened an in-depth investigation into Czech Airlines on
Wednesday, saying they doubted the carrier's revamp would return
it to viability and also comply with EU state aid rules.
The Czech government unveiled plans last November to put the
loss-making airline and Prague airport, both of them
state-owned, under a single holding company as part of the
carrier's restructuring. [ID:nLDE6AN17W]
Czech Airlines' overhaul includes reducing its fleet and
network by up to a third and refocusing on its core business.
The European Commission said it was doubtful the merger of
the airport and the airline could contribute to the carrier's
The watchdog said it also doubted a loan of 2.5 billion
crowns (94 million euros) from state-owned firm Osinek and
several other measures could be considered as part of the
"The Commission must make sure the company contributes its
fair share of the burden and that it is ultimately viable
without further state support," EU Competition Commissioner
Joaquin Almunia said in a statement.
Commission competition investigations typically last several
(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee, editing by Rex Merrifield and Will
($1=17.88 Czech Crown)