The biggest South Korean airline, Korean Air has received overseas approval from the Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore (CCCS) for its planned acquisition of Asiana Airlines.
Becoming the latest overseas regulator to grant the merger approval, the CCCS concluded that Korean Air’s acquisition of Asiana Airlines will not infringe Singapore’s Competition Act.
The CCCS also added that the merger is “unlikely to raise ticket prices due to the high degree of competition from competitor airlines such as Singapore Airlines (SIA1) (SINGY) in the passenger business” as well as cargo business.
Korean Air still is still waiting for approval from other antitrust regulators, including South Korea, the United States, the European Union, China, Japan, the United Kingdom, and Australia before it can proceed with the $1.6 billion deal to acquire cash-strapped Asiana Airlines.
Korean Air has already won approvals from competition regulators in Taiwan, Vietnam, Turkey, and Malaysia. Competition regulators in Thailand and the Philippines stated that the submission of a business combination report was not necessary.
Korean Air aims to fully integrate Asiana by 2024, as the merger process is set to officially begin in 2022.
Asiana’s integration into Korean Air is expected to create a carrier that can operate around 60% of international routes out of and into South Korea. The consolidation is also expected to give both airlines a competitive advantage over other carriers in the region.