Air Incheon preferred buyer for Asiana cargo segment in Korean Air merger

Air Incheon
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South Korean cargo airline Air Incheon is reportedly the preferred buyer of Asiana’s cargo segment as part of the merger with Korean Air.  

Korean Air said on June 17, 2024, following a director’s board meeting, that Air Incheon was leading the field based on several key criteria. 

These included the “certainty of completing the transaction, the ability to maintain and enhance long-term competitiveness of the air cargo business, and the capability to mobilize funds through a competent consortium”. 

Other Korean carriers in the running to takeover Asiana’s cargo arm include Jeju Air, Eastar Jet and Air Premia.  

“The preferred bidder was selected through a comprehensive evaluation of all factors crucial to the growth of the air cargo industry, a key national industry, while maintaining the existing competitive environment,” a Korean Air representative said. “We are committed to quickly finalizing the sales process through flexible negotiations and completing the acquisition of Asiana Airlines.” 

In a bid to satisfy the European Union’s antitrust regulator in its merger with Asiana, Korean Air was required to sell the cargo segment of its rival.  

Korean Air plans to sign a framework agreement with Air Incheon in July 2024 after agreeing on the contract conditions. The agreement is subject to review by the European Commission

Switzerland-based financial services firm UBS has been tasked with selling Asiana’s cargo division. 

Korean Air hopes that the deal can be wrapped up by October 2024 but still awaits approval from the US government for the merger.  

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