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LOT Polish Airlines CEO says can grow without an investor
June 6, 2017 / 1:22 AM / 3 months ago

LOT Polish Airlines CEO says can grow without an investor

FILE PHOTO: Polish Airlines LOT Embraer ERJ-195LR aircraft taxis at the Chopin International Airport in Warsaw, Poland May 17, 2016. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel

CANCUN, Mexico (Reuters) - LOT Polish Airlines [LOT.UL] is more interested in seeking a partner over an investor because it is now more confident that it is on the way to long-term profitability, its chief executive officer said on Monday.

“A partner is the primary focus, an investor with a capital injection is the secondary focus,” CEO Rafal Milczarski said on the sidelines of an airline industry meeting. “We have demonstrated and will continue to demonstrate that we can grow successfully without an investor.”

State-owned LOT, one of the world’s oldest airlines, has for years struggled to compete against low-cost competitors like Ryanair Holdings Plc (RYA.I) and bigger rivals. It was saved from bankruptcy in 2012 thanks to public aid of more than 500 million zlotys ($134.58 million).

Poland had been in talks with potential investors from China last year.

“A year ago, I had much less confidence. We are on a very good track to achieving long-term profitability and growing the company in a profitable way,” Milczarski said.

He added that LOT was not seeing any negative impact following Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, and that the carrier was instead adding more seats to London.

Reporting by Victoria Bryan; Editing by Lisa Shumaker

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