Korean carrier T’Way Air to commence flights to four European destinations 

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Korean budget airline T’way Air is to launch flights between Seoul and four European cities in 2024. The new services are an integral part of a deal that allows Korean Air to gain all the approvals it requires to acquire fellow Korean carrier Asiana Airlines

According to a statement issued by the airline, T’way Air will “gradually” start to operate flights from Seoul Incheon Airport (ICN) to Paris (CDG), Rome (FCO), Barcelona (BCN) and Frankfurt (FRA) from the second half of 2024. The airline will launch these routes using “remedy” slots arising out of Korean Air’s takeover of rival carrier Asiana, which has now been approved by the European Commission (EC). 

The European Commission approved the acquisition of Asiana Airlines by Korean Air on February 14, 2024, under EU merger regulations. But following an in-depth investigation by competition authorities, remains conditional on Korean Air making slots, traffic rights, and aircraft available to allow T’Way Air to start flying to Europe from Seoul. Korean Air has committed not to complete the merger until T’Way has started operating on the four routes, the Commission said.  

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“These measures are designed to maintain a competitive environment in the relevant markets,” said Korean Air in a statement, which added it would “provide comprehensive support” to T’way Air on the European routes. The exact nature of that support has not been disclosed, however.  

Korean Air announced its proposed $1.52 billion purchase of Asiana back in 2020 although the deal has been delayed by the requirement to secure approval from 14 different competition regulations and other aviation authorities around the world. The deal is still awaiting final clearance from regulators in the US. 

“With the EC approval secured, Korean Air continues to be focused on its discussions with the US competition authority to finalize the overall merger review processes as soon as possible,” the airline added.  

The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) approved the acquisition in 2023 when Korean Air agreed to make slots available for Virgin Atlantic to begin its own services between London and Seoul. Although the deal has been approved, the UK airline is yet to announce when it might commence services to the Korean capital city.  

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T’Way Air began life as Hansung Airlines which commenced operations in 2005. In 2010, the company was rebranded as T’Way Air, with the ‘T’ standing for ‘together, today and tomorrow’. The newly rebranded carrier recommenced services as a budget carrier using a pair of Boeing 737-800s on both domestic and international routes from its base in Seoul.  

The airline currently serves 46 destinations across 19 countries using a fleet of 27 Boeing 737s (-800 / MAX 8) plus three Airbus A330s which are configured for 347 passengers in a two-class layout.       

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