Government explores possibility of flying a state controlled airline

The Slovak government is exploring the possibility of establishing a national airline, but its potential competitors said they are not concerned. While Tatra Air, which flies to Prague, Warsaw, and Zurich, and Air Slovakia, which connects Bratislava with Tel Aviv, have emerged as private Slovak airlines with regular international flights, Slovakia does not have a state-run commercial airline. "Almost every East-bloc country has [a national carrier], except Slovakia," said Bohuslav Huraj, the general director of Tatra Air.

The Slovak government is exploring the possibility of establishing a national airline, but its potential competitors said they are not concerned. While Tatra Air, which flies to Prague, Warsaw, and Zurich, and Air Slovakia, which connects Bratislava with Tel Aviv, have emerged as private Slovak airlines with regular international flights, Slovakia does not have a state-run commercial airline.

"Almost every East-bloc country has [a national carrier], except Slovakia," said Bohuslav Huraj, the general director of Tatra Air. The Ministry of Transportation is seriously considering establishing one, according to Mikulás Patlovič head of the ministry's civil aviation division. "At this time, we have only proposals," Patlovič said, adding that a drafted plan for such a carrier should be ready by the end of November.

Huraj, who described his company's relationship with the ministry as "neutral," said the potential competition does not concern him. "As long as our flying rights are not affected, it would be fair competition." But Huraj said that if Tatra Air's route to Zurich, for example, were forced to change its schedule or close, then the competition would be unfair and unacceptable to the private airline.

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