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China Approves Korean Air’s Asiana Buyout

 |  January 2, 2023

The Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China (MOFCOM) recently announced its approval of Korean Air’s business combination with Asiana Airlines, a necessary requirement to complete the company’s buyout.

MOFCOM has demanded that the merged Korean Air-Asiana entity reduce its market share due to competition concerns, to which Korean Air submitted remedies proposing to transfer slots to any new airlines wishing to start air services on nine routes where both Korean Air and Asiana Airlines operate. Five of the nine routes were proposed by the Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) earlier this year and an additional four routes were advised by MOFCOM.

Read more: UK Watchdog Looks At Concessions In Korean Air, Asiana Airlines Buy

Korean Air expects MOFCOM’s approval of the business combination to play a positive role in the review process of the remaining competition authorities.

Currently, Korean Air is still waiting for business combination approvals from the US, EU and Japan, countries where reporting is mandatory, as well as a final approval from the UK, where reporting is arbitrary.

UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has accepted remedies submitted by Korean Air, but will gather opinions from the market before giving their official approval.