|Turkish Airlines (THY) picked as the best bidder in an auction for Bosnia and Herzegovina flag carrier BH Airlines, Bosnia's federation government said on Wednesday.
"Turkish Airlines was ranked the best among those which had submitted bids and we are starting negotiations on the contract details," Reuters quoted Transport and Communications Minister Nail Seckanovic as saying.
Malaysian Comintel Corporation and a Jordanian consortium that includes Royal Jordanian Airline were among companies that made binding bids for a 49 percent stake in the company.
The federation government owns 99 percent of BH Airlines and one percent is owned by the engineering group Energoinvest.
Turkish Airlines has proposed to cover the 5 million euros ($6.37 million) cost of leasing two Boeing aircraft and take over a previous government loan on condition of getting an increased stake in the company.
BH Airlines went bankrupt in 2003 but resumed operating in 2005 after a deal with Hypo Alpe Adria Bank to settle most of its debt. It employs 89 people and transported about 70,000 passengers in 2007.
THY, one of the fastest-growing airlines in Europe, grew more than 20 percent annually in the past five years despite the worsening global outlook of the sector and increased domestic competitiveness. The company aims to keep the pace in 2008.