STA, 8 November - The state-owned bad bank has rejected reports that it had presented to former Adria Airways pilots a plan for a potential new flag carrier, while confirming for the STA that it would present to the finance and economy ministries next week calculations on the feasibility of establishment of such a company.
Responding on Friday to yesterday's unofficial report by Radio Slovenija, Bank Assets Management Company (BAMC) chief executive director Matej Pirc rejected it, while saying he had indeed met with a representative of former Adria pilots.
Pirc said that he had recently met with pilot Primož Jovanović, who has been calling for a state intervention, but added that the meetings had been requested by the latter as he wanted to present his calculations related to feasibility of the idea to establish a new flag carrier.
He said that, given that the bad bank was preparing calculations of its own, which included several scenarios with different assumptions, he was interested in what pilots had to say.
Radio Slovenija said that the new carrier would have five Canadair aircraft and 200 employees, and that a EUR 20 million loss was expected in the first year after incorporation, which Pirc labelled as excessive numbers.
He said that BAMC was advocating a "slimmer organisation", and not a company with 200 employees, but admitted that it would be hard for the company to function without making a loss.
The national radio also said yesterday that the government was expected to decide by the end of the month whether it will establish a new flag carrier, which, according to some accounts, would be called Air Slovenia.
Radio Slovenija added it would be easiest to establish the new company by purchasing Adria Airways, which went into receivership in early October, as a whole. A call for bids issued by Adria receiver will close on 11 November.
Economy Minister Zdravko Počivalšek told the weekly Mladina last week that a regional air carrier could become a partner of the company, while refusing to reveal any details.