The largest South Korean airline, Korean Air, denied media reports regarding the overseas approval from Singapore’s antitrust regulator for its planned acquisition of Asiana Airlines on November 24, 2021.
“We have not received any official statement from the Singaporean regulatory authorities regarding the approval of our business combination with Asiana,” Korean Air told AeroTime in an emailed statement.
On November 22, 2021, the Korea Times announced that the Singaporean antitrust regulator granted approval for the Korean Air and Asiana merger.
Korean Air is still waiting to receive approval from other antitrust regulators, including South Korea, the United States, the European Union, China, and Japan, before the airline can proceed with the $1.6 billion deal to acquire the cash-strapped Asiana Airlines.
Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan, and Turkey have already approved Korean Air’s planned merger with its domestic rival Asiana Airlines.
Korean Air aims to fully integrate Asiana by 2024, as the merger process is set to officially begin in 2022, according to the president of Korean Air, Woo Kee-Hong.
Asiana’s integration into Korean Air would create a carrier that could operate around 60% of international routes out of and into South Korea. The consolidation could help both airlines secure a competitive advantage over other airlines in the region.
Updated with a statement from Korean Air