Updated 8:47 AM EST, Fri, Mar 05, 2021

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Poland in Talks With Air China to Sell Stake in LOT Airlines: Report

LOT Airlines Selling 49 Percent Stake.

(Photo : Getty Images) Poland’s government is said to be in negotiation with Air China to sell a 49 percent stake in LOT Airlines.

Poland's conservative government is in talks with China's Air China to sell a substantial stake in the state-owned Polish airlines LOT Airlines, Reuters reported.   

The cash-strapped LOT airlines, has been struggling to compete against low-cost competitors and other bigger rivals in the aviation industry. The state-owned airline was given a bailout package of 500 million zlotys ($130 million) in 2012 to avoid bankruptcy.           

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"LOT is our national carrier, which we are trying to save no matter the cost. It is deeply in debt," Poland's Deputy Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki told news agency PAP.

Morawiecki added that the current government cannot offer another bailout package to LOT Airlines, and they are looking for an investor to revive the airline's fortune.

Earlier this week, a local Polish newspaper reported that China's state-owned carrier Air China has expressed interest in acquiring a 49 percent stake in LOT Airlines, with a top delegation from Air China expected to visit Warsaw city for negotiation in the coming days.                

However, so far there has been no official confirmation from either Air China or LOT Airlines about the potential joint venture.

Poland's Supreme Audit Office revealed in April that despite bailout packages and improvement in operational efficiency, LOT has little chance to revive its fortunes without finding an outside investor.

A comparatively small airline carrier, LOT's number of widebody fleet will increase to just eight aircrafts as two newly acquired 787 Dreamliners joins operation next year. The airline company claims that it makes on average over 200 flights on a daily basis and carries nearly 5 million passengers every year.

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