|Still flying, but for how long?|
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
The beginning of 2013 hasn't been great for LOT. Its new Dreamliners were grounded after technical problems arose. It's not clear when they will be allowed to fly again.
The zł.400 million LOT received from the state recently was designated as a loan, and will have to be paid back. What could be worse for the company is unconfirmed reports from Brussels that the European Commission won't allow the state to further assist the company.
"The European Commission won't allow the government to help LOT with state funds. For its new members, the EU has a much stricter approach," said Andrzej Sadowski from the Adam Smith Institute in an interview with Polish Radio.
Not much going for it
One of the latest ideas for saving the carrier from going under is moving its assets to another state-owned carrier - Eurolot, Rzeczpospolita reported. LOT doesn't actually own much, other than its logo and airport slots (a time window for planes to take off and land). Its planes are rented and its headquarters has been sold.
"A similar plan was used in Swiss and Austrian Airlines, however it took longer than a month or two, which could be all the time LOT has left,"Adrian Furgalski of transport consultancy TOR told Money.pl.
The reported plan sounds radical, but it could help restructure the company and reduce employment. Current employees would have to accept Eurolot's conditions to keep their jobs.
But that's only a proposal. "The government is making final decisions about what to do with the company, Ernst & Young has been hired to write another plan on how to save it, and we don't even have a new CEO," said Mr Furgalski.
"Potential candidates can't even have their own plan to save LOT, because they will be forced to implement a plan handed to them," he added. There are currently 27 candidates for LOT's CEO position.
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