NEWS BRIEFS

Ministry looks for buyers for its three Russian TU-154M airplanes

Two companies have submitted bids in a tender announced by the Slovak Ministry of Transport, Postal Services, and Telecommunications, for the operation and lease of three Russian TU-154M passenger jets owned by the ministry and formerly leased by national carrier Slovenské Aerolínie (SA).

The previous government of Vladimír Mečiar decided to establish SA as a national air carrier in January 1997. The airline was to be given Russian airplanes that were to be imported to Slovakia from Russia as repayment of Russian debt towards Slovakia. At its height, SA operated a single regular line between Bratislava and Moscow twice a week.

The new government stripped SA of its license for "irreglarities" in November and put the planes on the auction block. But problems still remain because neither of the companies bidding for the jets - SA and Poprad's Air Transport Europe - fully meets the criteria of the tender. The Defence Ministry has said it can use the planes, but the Ministry of Transport said it will not consider that option until a more complete search for a private operator has been completed.

SA operated the three planes until January 20, 1999, when their lease contracts were annulled. Short term summer leases for the planes are also being considered.

Get daily Slovak news directly to your inbox

Top stories

News digest: Pilot testing deemed successful

Coronavirus affects bus connections, gastronomy businesses send an open letter to the prime minister. Take a look at the latest in our news digest.

PM Igor Matovič presents the results of the pilot nationwide testing on October 26.

Slovakia orders a curfew and embarks on its COVID experiment

High turnout in testing in four northern districts, decision awaited on extending the project to the nation. Prison for a prominent prosecutor and parliament's speaker injured.

Waiting for the results of COVID tests during the pilot phase of the nationwide testing in the town of Nižná in Orava, northern Slovakia.

No balanced budget for next three years, this time due to COVID-19

2021-2023 general government budgets lack consolidation measures.

Finance Minister Eduard Heger