Asiana Airlines raised W110 billion ($97 million) from the issuance of private corporate bonds. This is the first time since 2015 that the South Korean airline has issued bonds valued over W100 million.

The issuance of the bonds follows strong investor confidence after the November 2020 announcement of Asiana Airlines’ merger with Korean Air, the airline said.

Korean Air plans to officially begin the merger process with Asiana Airlines in 2022 and full integration of both airlines’ operations is expected by 2024. The acquisition deal, in which Korean Air will acquire a 64% stake in Asiana Airlines for 1.8 trillion won ($1.6 billion), is set to place Korean Air on the list of the world’s largest airlines.

“The market’s expectation for the merger and acquisition with Korean Air was the driving force behind the issuance of the private placement bonds,” said Asiana.

The bonds consist of three tranches – W57 billion ($50 million) with a one-year maturity, W23 billion ($20 million) due in 18 months, and W30 billion ($26 million) with a two-year tenor, Flightglobal reports. 

Additionally, Air Busan, an affiliate of Asiana Airlines, received a W30 billion ($26 million) capital injection from Asiana Airlines through the purchase of bearer type, privately placed convertible bonds on June 24, 2021. The maturity date of the bonds is June 24, 2051, with options to extend the maturity of the bonds.