Korean Air to Retain Asiana Workers Under Conditions
Korean Air Co. will retain Asiana Airlines Inc. workers to secure European Union antitrust approval for their merger in case Asiana agrees to sell their cargo business.
Korean Air, the larger of South Korea’s two full-service airlines, plans to seek approval for this decision at a board meeting next Monday. Asiana Airlines, the smaller of the two, will also hold a board meeting on the same day to decide whether to sell its cargo business.
EU antitrust regulators are concerned that the merger may limit competition in passenger and cargo air transport services between the EU and South Korea. Unionized workers at Asiana Airlines oppose selling the cargo division due to fears of layoffs.
Korean Air intends to submit formal remedies to address these concerns to the European Commission by the end of the month. The outcome of the upcoming board meetings will be closely watched by stakeholders and EU regulators and could determine the fate of the acquisition deal pursued for the past three years.
Korean Air has received acquisition approvals from 11 countries, including Britain, Australia, Singapore, Vietnam, Turkey, and China, while awaiting decisions from Japan, the EU, and the US. An official from the European Commission declined to comment on the ongoing investigation.