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Korean Air confident of Asiana merger approvals – next challenge will be integration

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Korean Air is making progress towards gaining approvals from US and European regulators for its acquisition of Asiana Airlines, increasing the chances that the deal will be completed this year.

The takeover, first proposed in Nov-2020, would potentially make Korean Air one of the top 10 largest airlines in the world.

Korean is seeking clearances from competition authorities in several countries, which represent the most important remaining steps before the deal can be finalised. Of these, the US and European Union approvals are seen as the major milestones. Korean estimates that it will take two years to completely integrate Asiana after the acquisition is finalised.

One of the challenges will be combining the two fleets and order books, which have some important differences. Merging three low cost carrier subsidiaries will also be a complex task. Any such issues are far outweighed by the positives, however. The combined airline will have a much stronger market position and will become even more of a force in the airline industry.

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