June 29, 2020 / 2:44 PM / 17 days ago

Czech airline Smartwings could axe 600 staff

PRAGUE (Reuters) - Smartwings Group, which includes flagship carrier Czech Airlines, could cut up to 600 jobs by February 2021 because of the coronavirus crisis, it said on Monday.

The carrier, which has about 2,500 employees and operates a fleet of 50 planes on mainly European routes, has been in talks with the Czech government over state aid.

The government agreed on Monday that transport and travel companies may be eligible for a state loan guarantee programme.

Smartwings, controlled by founder Jiri Simane and Chinese state investment company CITIC, said the first 29 dismissals had been discussed with unions on Monday.

Reporting by Jan Lopatka; Editing by David Goodman

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