Seeing increased popularity across the continent, Turkey’s national flag carrier Turkish Airlines (THY) is now hoping to export its management model to European markets.
A possible acquisition of LOT Polish Airlines could be an opportunity for this goal to be realized, THY Chairman Hamdi Topçu told reporters in İstanbul on Tuesday. THY has been in negotiations to acquire LOT since January. Officials from the İstanbul-based airline have previously said a decision could be made by mid-2012. “I think we will make our final decision within a month,” Topçu said, adding that senior LOT officials are shortly expected in Turkey. “We would love the opportunity to prove how THY’s management model can be successful if we transfer our
own managers to firms based in EU markets.” Topçu said this depends on whether THY gains a controlling stake in LOT.
Topçu said negotiations were under way; however, the two sides have not yet discussed a price. The Polish government owns a 68 percent stake in LOT, which is a member of the Star Alliance. The Polish carrier registered a loss of $17 million in 2010, leading the government to consider privatizing the company. Talks to acquire LOT followed a meeting between Topçu and Polish Economy Minister Waldemar Pawlak in December. Topçu has said the minister “asked if we would like to acquire the carrier.” THY currently holds a 49 percent stake in Bosnia and Herzegovina’s BH Airlines, its only partnership thus far with a foreign carrier. Serbia’s JAT Airways and Czech Airlines were two other European carriers previously rumored to be under acquisition consideration by THY.
Source: Todays Zaman