More Delays to Asiana/Korean Air Merger Decision
Airlines Business / Finance

More Delays to Asiana/Korean Air Merger Decision

DALLAS – The merger between Korean Air (KE) and Asiana Airlines (OZ) has been delayed once again by the United States Department of Justice (DOJ).

The DOJ had said in August, when the formal review process began, that a decision should take around 75 days. KE has noted that the DOJ isn’t postponing the decision, as it never set an official deadline to announce approval.

The merger would see KE take a 63.88% stake in OZ. The Korean Air brand would survive, with the combined carriers becoming the world’s seventh-biggest airline.

KE currently flies to 11 US destinations. Photo: Misael Ocasio Hernandez/Airways.

Ongoing Reviews

In a statement, KE said, “Merger reviews are still going on in other jurisdictions, meaning there is no need to rush, which could be another reason why the United States is taking more time to review the decision.”

The move comes after UK regulators also raised concerns over the deal. The two carriers had until November 21 to submit proposals to address issues over possible higher airfares for passengers and the impact on cargo operations. The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) will review these proposals by November 28. If they are rejected again, the merger will have to undergo an additional in-depth Phase 2 investigation. China, Japan and the EU have yet to approve the merger.

The merger between the two South Korean carriers was announced in November 2020. Photo: Hyeonwoo Noh, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

On flights between the United States and South Korea, OZ and KE are joined by Air Premia (YP), Hawaiian Airlines (HA), Delta Air Lines (DL), American Airlines (AA) and United Airlines (UA). KE currently flies to eleven US destinations, while OZ serves five. The combined carriers would subsequently have a 66.64% share of the US-South Korean market from current operations.

Featured Image: The two airlines hoped the merger would be approved and finalised by 2024. Photo: Johann Heske/Airways.

European Deputy Editor
Writer, aviation fanatic, and Airways European Deputy Editor, Lee is a plant geek and part-time Flight Attendant for a UK-based airline. Based in Liverpool, United Kingdom.

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