EU sets deadline for decision on Korean Air’s proposed Asiana takeover
European Union competition regulators have set a February deadline to review Korean Air’s proposed acquisition of Asiana Airlines.
The two airlines resubmitted their plans to EU antitrust regulators earlier this year after gaining board approval to sell the cargo business of Asiana Airlines to offset concerns about the market share the combined entity would have on the Korea-Europe trade lane.
The regulators have set a new February 14 deadline for a decision on the takeover, according to an update on the European Commission website, said Reuters.
However, EU antitrust chief Didier Reynders told reporters: “There is very good progress with some proposals.”
Korean Air first announced plans to acquire Asiana back in November 2020 but the timetable fell victim to the Covid pandemic.
The two airlines still require approval from competition authorities in Japan, which has filed an objection, and the US. Asiana will also need to find a buyer for its cargo business.
However, the merger between the two carriers has gained approval in Singapore, China and the UK.
According to earlier reports, Korean Air has been in talks with several other carriers to buy the cargo assets.
Asiana’s cargo business accounts for around 20% of the carrier’s total revenue. According to Airfleets.net, the carrier operates 10 Boeing 747-400 freighters and a single Boeing 767-300 freighter.
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