In Business News: Czech Airlines gets a firm commitment for financial support from Korean Air and pushes ahead with restructuring plan, the ruling parties agree on the introduction of kurzarbeit to cushion the impact of the EU-Russia sanctions and give their approval to a finance ministry proposal to level a punitive tax on undeclared property, and, the average interest rate on mortgage loans drops to its lowest level since 2003.
Several hundred flight attendants at the Czech national carrier, Czech Airlines, were expected to strike next Thursday in protest over extensive layoffs and wage cuts. That was averted when on Friday afternoon the company announced it and had reached a deal with trade unions, saying fewer employees would be let go.
Trade unions at the Czech national carrier Czech Airlines have cancelled plans to go on strike next Thursday over lay-offs and salary cuts. The decision came after the firm's management promised on Friday to “limit the impact” of the restructuring. Earlier this week, the troubled firm announced salary cuts and massive layoffs; some 170 of the airline’s 400 cabin crew members are set to lose their jobs under the plan. However, the agreement will not affect the basic features of the plan, Václav Řehoř, the head of Czech Airlines’ mother company, Czech Aeroholding, said.
Czech Airlines has a received a commitment for financial support from its biggest shareholder Korean Air to boost its efforts to stabilize the loss-making company. Korean Air has conditioned the promised increase in capital on the full implementation of a restructuring plan unveiled in September. The plan involves selling assets and shrinking the company’s fleet and workforce. ČSA has announced plans to lay-off a third of its staff including 77 pilots and close to 200 flight attendants. Korean Air acquired a 44 percent stake in Czech Airlines in 2013 from the state after the government had made several attempts to sell the airline. The Czech state holds 54 percent shares and the insurance company Česká Pojistovna 2.2 percent.
The country’s chief hygiene officer, Jiří Valenta, issued a directive on Monday introducing checks at international airports in the Czech Republic as a preventive measure to stop the spread of Ebola. Arriving in Prague, Karlovy Vary, Pardubice, Ostrava and Brno, passengers on international flights will fill in information ahead of time. At Prague´s Václav Havel Airport, any passengers who spent the last 42 days in Guinea, Liberia or Sierra Leone, the West African countries at the centre of the deadly Ebola outbreak, will undergo a medical checkup and have their temperature taken. At the other airports, arrival cards will be collected and evaluated by a doctor, with potentially risky passengers to be contacted later if necessary. Among information included will be passenger’s full names, their flight number, and means of contact. The Czech Republic had a total of four Ebola scares in recent weeks, but all of the patients tested negative. The directive at Czech airports takes effect on Tuesday morning.
The troubled national carrier Czech Airlines is looking to drastically lower monthly salaries from the start of next year. According to the daily Lidové noviny, experienced captains with long tenure will be the hardest hit, seeing a drop in wages of up to 30 percent. Younger pilots could see wages drop by one-fifth, at least as evidenced by a wage schedule provided by the company to labour unions.
An appeal by the film actress and producer Deana Horváthová-Jakubisková, wife of director Juraj Jakubisko, will be heard by the country’s Supreme Court. Horváthová-Jakubisková was given a suspended sentence of 2.5 years in prison with a four-year probation period and four year ban on driving as the result of an accident in which, at the wheel of her car, she struck and killed a pedestrian at a crossing. The verdict was confirmed earlier this year by Prague's Municipal Court. Mrs Horváthová-Jakubisková has said she was going the speed limit, and disagreed with the ruling that she wasn’t paying proper attention behind the wheel.
The Czech tram manufacturer Inekon has won a tender to sell trams to the US city of Detroit. The deal, worth 30 million crowns (roughly 652 USD), involves shipping three sets of trams to Detroit by the end of the third quarter of 2016, the server E15.cz reported this week, citing the company’s head of foreign sales Milan Haloun. The company is now seeking to secure bank guarantees.
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