June 30, 2023 13:04
The EU Commission has delayed the deadline to approve Korean Air's takeover of Asiana Airlines at the request of the Korean carrier.
The commission originally planned to announce its decision by July 5 but postponed it to Aug. 3 as it asked Korean Air to submit fresh documents to address monopoly concerns resulting from the merger.
But it has now agreed postpone it again, according to industry sources on Thursday.
Korean Air had until last Friday to submit proposals that would alleviate concerns of a monopoly on certain routes due to the merger with Asiana. But the carrier requested more time to prepare them.
"To address monopoly concerns, it is necessary to coordinate with various stakeholders, but the summer vacation has begun in Europe and we don't have time to deal with all the practical details," Korean Air said. "So we asked for more time and the EU commission agreed. We will need about two more months."
The airline is considering ceding some takeoff and landing slots at European airports after the merger and looking for a carrier that could take over Asiana's.
The commission earlier flagged concerns that the merger would "reduce competition in the provision of passenger transport services on four routes between [Korea] and France, Germany, Italy and Spain" and cargo services between "all of Europe and [Korea]."
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