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Russia's flagship air carrier Aeroflot has filed
Russia's flagship air carrier Aeroflot has filed a bid for a tender to purchase a 91.5% stake in Czech Airlines (CSA), Aeroflot's press office said on Monday.

"The application was submitted by a Czech legal entity in the interests of Aeroflot in full compliance with the terms of the tender. The bid includes a generalized business plan confirming Aeroflot's intention to maintain the status of CSA as a national air carrier based at the Prague Ruzyne airport," Aeroflot's press office said.

The Russian company, seen one of the favorites at the tender, will face competition from bidders including Air France-KLM, which is reported to be ready to offer up to 200 million euros ($274 million), the business paper Kommersant said on Monday.

In line with the tender's preliminary requirement, the winner must maintain the company's status as a national air carrier, and invest in the development of Prague airport, the paper said.

Analysts say CSA could be an advantageous purchase target for Aeroflot.

"Judging from the dynamics of CSA in the past few years, the company has a strong management team, which has worked out a comprehensive strategy of operations," Oleg Panteleyev, head of the analytical department of the Aviaport information web portal, told the paper.

In contrast with many other European air companies, CSA posted profit of 18.8 million euros ($25.8 million) in 2008, the analyst said.

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