New board at Slovak Airlines

THE TRANSPORT Ministry added two new members to Slovenské aerolínie's board of directors November 4. Both have ties to Austrian air carriers.

Christiana Bőhm-Mayer, who recently became the financial director of Slovenské aerolínie, will act as head of the board of directors. Wolfgang Henle will also sit on the board.

Before joining Slovenské aerolínie, Bőhm-Mayer was financial director for Lauda Air, the TASR news agency wrote. Henle is from Austrian Airlines.

A few weeks ago, Transport Minister Pavol Prokopovič announced that Slovenské aerolínie would borrow €5 million (Sk200 million) from Slovenská sporiteľňa, a subsidiary of the Austrian Erste Bank, to finance its operations. Austrian Airlines is guarantor.

Under the loan agreement, Austrian Airlines can obtain a stake in the government-owned carrier if Slovenské aerolínie defaults on its loan.

The Transport Ministry currently owns a 90-percent stake in Slovenské aerolínie.

Prokopovič said he would support the capitalisation of the loan through a privatisation deal with Austrian Airlines, but the Ministry is bound by law to open up a public, international tender for privatisation.

"In the current economic climate I cannot imagine a better business partner than Austrian Airlines," the Transport Minister said.

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