|Without aid LOT would likely have to shut down |
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Marcin Piróg, who was dismissed as CEO of state-owned airline LOT in mid-December, has come out in his own defense in interviews with the Polish media. Despite his earlier assurances to the contrary, in December it was revealed that the company will record deep losses for 2012. According to various sources, the company’s losses will come in at some zł.200-300 million. The state-owned carrier has requested almost zł.1 billion in loans from the state.
The government has signaled its willingness to help, but the aid has to be approved by the European Commission. The EC should announce its decision within the next two months.
While the airline searches for a new CEO, Mr Piróg went on the defensive. In an interview with TVN24.pl, Mr Piróg stated that he informed the Treasury Ministry of the carriers’ problems and asked for aid back in October. He also explained that he didn’t implement various restructuring changes that could help save company because, “We didn’t have any money.”
While the loss for 2012 should amount to zł.200-300 million, the problems with LOT are much deeper. The loss would be much higher if the company hadn’t sold some of its assets a few months ago. LOT sold its daughter company, aircraft maintenance provider AMS, and leased out its headquarters, raising around zł.600 million in the process.
Experts predict that without the state aid, the company will most likely have to declare bankruptcy.
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