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Korean Air Chief Pushes For Asiana Takeover, Says Will Enhance Competition

 |  April 24, 2022

The head of South Korea’s largest air carrier said Thursday that the company‘s acquisition of its domestic rival Asiana Airlines will contribute to enhancing the bilateral economic relationship between South Korea and the United States, expressing hope for Washington’s approval of the merger.

“We are committed to increasing our activity in the US given the positive environment and we will continue to be a major contributor to the US-Korea economic relationship,” said Cho Won-tae, chairman of Hanjin Group, parent company of Korean Air, at a seminar hosted by the American Chamber of Commerce in Korea.

“Subsequent to the onslaught of the pandemic, we have increased our cargo capacity to help relieve the supply chain issues facing both economies by increasing our cargo capacity to the US to more than 900,000 metric tons in 2021, making Korean Air one of the largest cargo carriers to the US and contributing greatly to economic activity in the US,” he added.

The chief of the national flag carrier emphasized Korean Air’s contribution to the US economy, saying that Korean Air alone has created over 75,000 jobs in the US, and has purchased over $34 billion worth of US aircraft and parts.

Referring to the process of acquiring Asiana Airlines, Cho said he looks forward to expanding the firm’s investment in the US after its acquisition of the second-largest domestic air carrier. 

“Korean Air will be able to increase its contribution to the US economy and prevent the losses to both nations that would be caused if Asiana Airlines closes down,” he added.

Korean Air has received approval from Korean antitrust authorities to proceed with the acquisition of Asiana Airlines, and is now awaiting approval from the US, the European Union, Japan, China, the United Kingdom and Australia.

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