Jin Air restrictions are lifted after a 20-month sanction

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Jin Air restrictions are lifted after a 20-month sanction

Jin Air is now allowed to apply for new routes, register new aircraft and operate nonscheduled flights after the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport lifted restrictions placed on the airline less than two years ago.

The airline, a low-cost carrier 60 percent owned by Hanjin KAL, jumped 14.79 percent in trading on the Kospi on Tuesday following the announcement from the regulator.

Restrictions were first placed on the airline 20 months ago after it was discovered that Cho Hyun-min, a board member, is an American citizen. Under Korean transport law, all directors must be Korean citizens.

The ministry on Tuesday announced it decided to lift the sanctions against Jin Air following a discussion with the license advisory council, which has legal, management, air transport and accounting experts. They determined Jin Air implemented its promised rehabilitation measures.

The measures included expanding the number of outside directors, enforcing compliance and reducing the influence of Hanjin KAL.

“As it has come up with management improvement measures it had promised, [the ministry] hopes to see Jin Air rise as a trustworthy airline under the management measures it has promised,” said the ministry in a statement.

The company says that the lifting of the restrictions will allow the airline to grow in terms of planes and routes.

Due to the coronavirus outbreak, it could be some time before the airline is able to take advantage of the ministry’s move. Jin Air says that it will take some time for it to come up with a plan moving forward despite the freedoms that have been granted to it.

Jin Air was founded in 2008 and started with a Gimpo-Jeju service. It began flying the following year to Bangkok, its first international destination.

Before the Covid-19 crisis, it had been flying to 32 international and four domestic destinations.

BY JIN MIN-JI [jin.minji@joongang.co.kr]

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