T'way Airlines, Korea's first low-cost carrier, is looking for a new owner. The Korea Deposit Insurance Corporation will sell 72.38 percent of T'way Airlines shares held by Tomato Savings Bank, which was shut down last year, a spokesman said Thursday.
The corporation plans to take bids until Feb. 23 and find the most suitable candidate.
Jeju Air, the country's biggest budget airline, is mentioned as a potential candidate. A subsidiary of Aekyung Group, Jeju Air uses Boeing 737-800s like T'way.
A Jeju Air executive said, "We're watching with interest how the sale of T'way is proceeding. We'll see if we have the wherewithal and the price is in an appropriate range and then make our decision."
The Daemyung Group of construction and leisure companies is being mentioned as another candidate. Last year, the group said it wanted to advance into the aviation industry by buying T'way through subsidiary Daemyung Enterprise and negotiated with the budget carrier behind closed doors until recently. But they reportedly failed to agree a price.
According to the industry, T'way is asking for W30-40 billion (US$1=W1,116) as a net sale price, except reservation amounts and debts. The budget carrier business is growing rapidly thanks to new cheap international flights.