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Korean Air’s merger with Asiana approved by the Japan Fair Trade Commission

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Japan Fair Trade Commission approves Korean Air’s merger with Asiana Airlines, advancing the consolidation process with 12 of 14 authorities’ approvals.

SEOUL – The Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) approved Korean Air’s business combination with Asiana Airlines, marking a significant milestone in the two airlines’ merger process. To date, Korean Air has received approvals from 12 of 14 competition authorities.

The approval process commenced in January 2021, when Korean Air submitted its intent to the JFTC. Subsequently, a comprehensive initial report containing market and economic analysis was submitted in August 2021. Korean Air has proactively engaged in dialogues with all concerned parties to address various concerns raised by the JFTC.

The JFTC requested that Korean Air to submit remedies on select routes between Korea and Japan where the combined market share of Korean Air, Asiana Airlines and its respective subsidiaries (Jin Air, Air Busan and Air Seoul) would limit competition.

After discussion, the JFTC concluded that five of the 12 overlapping routes on the network were not subject to competition review. In addressing the remaining concerns, the airline has decided to cede a limited number of slots on seven routes, should “remedy takers” decide to operate on them. These routes include Seoul-Osaka, Sapporo, Nagoya, Fukuoka, as well as Busan-Osaka, Sapporo, and Fukuoka.

Since January 2021, Korean Air has filed business combination reports with a total of 14 competition authorities. A total of 12 authorities including Japan, have either approved the combination or concluded the review on the grounds that the business combination was not subject to review or report. Korean Air is committed to constructive dialogue with the remaining authorities – the EU and U.S. – to obtain approvals at the earliest opportunity.

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George, in his capacity as an intern, diligently oversees the flow of news, assists in the publication of content, and delves into the strategies of social media distribution. He is currently pursuing his studies in Business Administration at the Athens University of Economics and Business.

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