On 16 November, the South-Korean Government and the Korea Development Bank (KDB) announced the acquisition of Asiana Airlines by Korean Air. The board of directors of Korean Air approved the deal worth $1.6 billion, which also included low-cost regional carrier Air Busan, largely owned by Asiana Airlines, and fully-owned low-cost Air Seoul.
Korean Air is the largest airline and flag carrier of South-Korea. Once the acquisition has been completed, the South-Korean Government expects that Korean Air will become one of the 10 biggest airlines in the world.
KDB said to promote the integration of Korean Air and Asiana Airlines and added: “We will seek to strengthen the fundamental competitiveness of the domestic aviation industry through the launch of an integrated national airline.”
Asiana Airlines, the country’s second biggest airline, has been plagued by financial problems prompting parent company Kumho Industrial to put its 31% stake up for sale at the end of 2019 as it came under pressure from creditors.