Korean Air-Asiana merger approved by Chinese regulators

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Korean Air-Asiana merger approved by Chinese regulators

China's antitrust regulator has approved Korean Air's integration with smaller local rival Asiana Airlines, with approval yet to come from four countries, Korean Air said Tuesday.
The Ministry of Commerce of the People's Republic of China has demanded the merged Korean Air-Asiana entity reduce its market share due to competition concerns, Korean Air said in a statement.
In response, Korean Air submitted solutions to a possible monopoly on nine routes between the two countries.
In January last year, Korean Air submitted documents to antitrust regulators in 14 countries for the review of its combination with Asiana.
The company has received approval from 10 countries — Australia, Korea, Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand, Turkey, Taiwan, Malaysia, China and the Philippines — so far for the integration while awaiting the go-ahead from Japan, Britain, the European Union and the United States.
Korean Air, currently the world's 18th-largest airline by fleet, will become Asiana's biggest shareholder with a 63.9 percent stake if the acquisition is completed.
In November 2020, Korean Air signed a deal to acquire the controlling stake in Asiana in a deal valued at 1.8 trillion won ($1.5 billion) that would create the world's 10th-biggest airline by fleet.
The nation's two full-service carriers account for a combined 40 percent of passenger and cargo slots at Incheon International Airport, Korea's main gateway, below the level that constitutes a monopoly.
Korean Air aims to launch a merged entity with Asiana in 2024 after completing a takeover process by next year, vowing to streamline their routes and reduce maintenance costs.
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