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Czech airline CSA to fire third of its pilots as Russia passengers fall due to Ukraine crisis

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PRAGUE — Czech national carrier CSA says it is planning to fire a third of its pilots this year after passenger numbers from Russia and other former Soviet republics have declined due to the crisis in Ukraine.

CSA spokesman Daniel Sabik says the airline also plans to sell six Airbus A-320 planes for which it has no use.

CSA pilots have protested, saying in a statement Wednesday that the plan to eliminate 77 pilots, 172 flight attendants and 66 administration workers threaten the airline's very existence.

Seeking a strategic partner for the struggling carrier after it underwent a restructuring process, the government sold a minority 44 percent stake to Korean Airlines last year.

Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka said Wednesday he was worried by the plan, the local CTK news agency said.

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