Korean Air gets approval from U.K. on Asiana merger

The U.K.’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) announced its approval of Korean Air’s business combination with Asiana Airlines on March 1.

Korean Air now awaits the business competition approvals from the E.U., Japan and the U.S.

The CMA announced on November 28 last year that it accepted remedies submitted by Korean Air, and would listen to market opinions before approving the business combination.

Later, the CMA notified the airline on January 26, that it needed more time to review the remedies and would extend its review until March 23.

The CMA’s approval is evidence that the proposed remedies submitted by the airline have resolved competition restriction concerns.

As part of the remediation effort, Korean Air will enter into a cooperative partnership with Virgin Atlantic’s operation on the London Heathrow – Seoul Incheon route.

Korean Air will continue to fully cooperate with all authorities to receive approvals at the earliest opportunity.

From January 2021, Korean Air has reported its business combination to a total of 14 competition authorities.

Eleven countries including the U.K., have either approved the combination or have concluded the review on the grounds that the business combination was not subject to review or report.

Status of Korean Air-Asiana Airlines business combination review

○ Approved/Concluded

·      Turkey (21.2), Taiwan (21.5), Thailand (21.5)*, Philippines (21.5)* Malaysia (21.9), Vietnam (21.11), Korea (22.2), Singapore (22.2), Australia (22.9), China (22.12), United Kingdom (23.2)

*  Business combination report not required

○ Pending Approval

·      The European Union, the United States, Japan