The Czech national airline, CSA facing dificulities


The Czech national airline, CSA, faces great financial difficulty, as it joins the growing number of national carriers that have suffered a drop in ticket sales. Yesterday, airline officials presented the figures, which, though not favorable, are still bright, if compared with other European carriers currently undergoing crisis. Jan Velinger reports:

Since the September 11th terrorist attacks on the United States, CSA has cited a 10 to 15% decrease in customer interest, a trend which could have a profound impact on the airline. CSA was previously expected to make a profit of over 8 million USD by the end of the year. Under the current circumstances, airline officials now say, the airline will just break even. I spoke to Daniel Plovajko, a CSA representative, who believes the airline still has reasons to be optimistic. The Czech government fully controls the national carrier and believes that CSA remains in good shape, provided the situation does not get worse. Insurance companies do not insure airlines against acts of war, so the government has vowed to back losses of up to 500 million USD in each case of terrorist attack. Asked what the government would do in the case of multiple attacks, spokesman Libor Roucek said the cabinet believed that the risk was not very high. Meanwhile, CSA has taken steps towards stabilizing the situation. The outcome for CSA will be intensely followed until the end of the year. The big question on everybody's mind remains when the US-led NATO retaliation will begin. Just how public confidence in flying will be affected, remains to be seen.