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Thursday 30 December 2021

Korean airlines close to merger

South Korea's two major airlines: Korean Air and Asiana, are set to merge into one entity.

South Korea’s Fair Trade Commission this week signalled its conditional approval for the merger.

Korean Air has agreed to acquire 60% of Asiana Airlines with a plan to merge the two companies.

In a preliminary report, the FTC said the merged business would likely have to relinquish some slots to allow for consumer choice, Travel Mole reported.

The FTC said it has identified 10 routes on which a merger would give the airline a monopoly.

These include long haul routes to Los Angeles, New York, Barcelona, Seattle and Sydney.

"Redistribution of airport slots will allow other airlines to run flights," said Min Hye-young, an FTC spokesperson.

A final decision on the merger is expected in early 2022.

Korean Air, previously known as Korean Air Lines, is the largest airline and flag carrier of South Korea.

The present-day Korean Air was established on March 1, 1969, after the Hanjin Group purchased government-owned Korean Air Lines, which had operated since June 1962.

Asiana Airlines, also based in Seoul, was formerly known as Seoul Air and was founded 33 years ago.

It accounts for around 25% of South Korea's international aviation market and 20% of its domestic market.

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