WARSAW, Feb 6 (Reuters) - Sebastian Mikosz has been re-appointed head of ailing Polish airline LOT, the airline he left three years ago, by a government which hopes he can reverse its current financial woes.
The state agreed to give the airline a 400 million zloty ($129.86 million) loan to prevent it from succumbing to its continuing losses and mounting debts. It lost 1.1 billion zlotys between 2008 and 2011.
Last week Prime Minister Donal Tusk added that the fate of Treasury Minister Mikolaj Budzanowski’s job will depend on the outcome at LOT.
“Today we face a fight over the future of LOT and this is more important than whether I will or will not remain a minister,” Budzanowski said at a press briefing.
Budzanowski added that Mikosz’s goal will be to make LOT profitable and to get an external investor in the short term.
Mikosz, who was chief executive of LOT for 19 months in 2009-2010, told the state news agency PAP that he would present his plans for the company to the supervisory board expected by the end of next week.
LOT, which began flying in 1929 and is one of the world’s oldest airlines, has been hit by cut-throat competition from no-frills competitors such as Ryanair and easyJet , as well as high fuel prices and depressed demand during Europe’s economic downturn.