The European Union has given the green light to Korean Air Lines' acquisition of Asiana Airlines for a sum of $1.29 billion. The EU's executive arm, the European Commission, announced on Tuesday that South Korea's flagship carrier had made commitments to address competition concerns regarding passenger transport and cargo services.
As part of the deal, Korean Air has agreed to sell Asiana's global cargo freighter business. Additionally, the airline will provide rival carrier T'Way with the necessary assets to commence flight operations on four routes that overlap with Asiana's current offerings.
Margrethe Vestager, Executive Vice-President in charge of EU competition policy, declared that these measures would effectively resolve concerns and ensure fair competition and consumer choice in this important sector.
The acquisition of Asiana Airlines by Korean Air was first announced in November 2020, representing a significant shakeup for South Korea's aviation industry amidst the ongoing pandemic.
The European Commission launched an extensive investigation into the deal in February 2023, raising concerns over potential negative impacts on competition in passenger and cargo air transport services between South Korea and the European Economic Area. The EEA includes EU member states, as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway.