Air France-KLM and the Travel Service-Unimex grouping have been shortlised by the Czech Government for the next stage of the privatisation of national carrier CSA Czech Airlines.

But Russian SkyTeam partner Aeroflot, through the Darofan entity, and investment group Odien have both failed to make the shortlist for round two.

The four groups had submitted expressions of interest after the Czech Government launched a two-stage privatisation tender for its 91% stake in CSA earlier this year. Air France-KLM and Czech leisure carrier Travel Service's consortium with Unimex will now go through to stage two of the privatisation. The Czech Republic hopes to finalise selection of a strategic partner for the carrier by 30 September.

"We acknowledge the decision of the Czech Government, which has the legitimate right to select its preferred business partners, not to progress with Aeroflot into the second round of the CSA privatization tender," Aeroflot says in a statement today.

"Aeroflot's decision to participate in the tender and the intention of the bid was solely driven by commercial considerations," the company adds. "Following a thorough examination of CSA's financial and operational situation, Aeroflot detected considerable risks in the bid, which would have entailed serious financial obligations at a time of a global financial crisis. Thus, the decision of the Czech government objectively corresponds with the interests of Aeroflot's management."

Aeroflot, hitting out at some comments made by Czech politicians, adds it intend to continue its current active co-operations with CSA.

For more on CSA read our recent interview with airline CEO Radomir Lasak

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news