24. 10. 2006 - ČSA contacts prospective Cargo terminal investors

Prague 24 October 2006

This week, Czech Airlines (ČSA) began to contact potential investors in the Cargo terminal and cargo handling at the airport in Prague. The purchase offer from ČSA for the Cargo terminal and the related commercial cargo handling activities was sent to several prospective strategic cargo handling investors, as well as selected financial investors.

After the first contact has been made with the investors, an information memorandum will be prepared, which the company will send to those potentially interested in November. ČSA is anticipating receiving indicative offers at the beginning of December. Companies should be shortlisted by the middle of December, then due diligence will follow. “We should thus receive binding price quotations by the middle of February, then we will select the best alternative and present it to the owner for approval,” said Monika Kristková, Executive Director for Strategic Development and Projects, ČSA. “The process of selecting a strategic investor is being carried out according to the schedule, the decisive factors for us are the quality of the offer and the future relationship with the investor,” added Kristková.   

ČSA has already started preparing to transform the Cargo terminal into a subsidiary, which should be established in January next year.

Apart from operating the Cargo terminal, ČSA Cargo also provides  goods and mail transport on ČSA’s regular and charter flights. Unlike the terminal however, ČSA plans to hold onto these activities because they are directly linked to the company’s main activity, i.e. passenger transportation.

ČSA transports goods and mail as cargo to utilise the free capacity on its passenger aircraft. Most frequently, ČSA transports hi-tech equipment and perishable goods. “Dangerous goods and live animals transport is well above average on ČSA flights,“ said the Director of ČSA Cargo, Vladimír Perný. The main ČSA cargo destinations are airports in the countries of the former Soviet Union and other Eastern European countries outside the EU, but also the USA, Canada and Dubai. Over the first nine months of this year, ČSA aircraft transported 16,363 tonnes of goods and mail. This is a year-on-year growth of 3.9 percent.

Unlike transporting goods and mail on ČSA aircraft, the Cargo terminal can be operated by another owner without any great impact on the airline. The sale of the terminal will also include a contract with the new acquirer on providing cargo handling services for ČSA.

The ČSA Cargo terminal at Prague Ruzyně airport in is one of the most modern in Europe. Combined with the truck centre and new technologies, the Cargo terminal has the potential to become a logistics centre for the Central and Eastern Europe region. Important forwarding companies and airlines, including Czech Post and DHL, are all located there under one roof. The Border Veterinary Inspection Station operated by ČSA and the PHYTO Station are also nearby. Operations at the ČSA Cargo terminal commenced on 12 January 2004.

The premises have a storage and handling capacity of 60,000 tonnes of goods per year with the possibility of extending the capacity to 100,000 tonnes. Currently, only about half of its maximum capacity is being used. In addition, the premises have 3000 m2 of office space. Apart from regular storage space, the terminal also has refrigerator and freezer boxes, storage facilities for radioactive and other dangerous goods and a room for live animals. The premises include parking positions for two Boeing 747F cargo aircraft or several smaller aircraft.

Over the first nine months this year, ČSA aircraft transported 16,363 tonnes of goods and mail. This is a year-on-year growth of 3.9 percent.

ČSA Cargo’s share of the company’s overall revenue is about three to four percent. Apart from the transportation of goods on ČSA aircraft, ČSA Cargo also provides cargo handling for another 22 companies such as Air France and Korean Air. CSA also provides handling for China Airlines, the only carrier operating to Prague with cargo aircraft only.

Daniela Hupáková
CSA Spokesperson