SEOUL, Oct. 30 (Yonhap) — The board of Asiana Airlines Inc., South Korea’s second-largest air carrier, plans to decide Monday on whether to sell its cargo business, as Korean Air Co. seeks to win antitrust approval from European Union regulators for its takeover of the rival.
The EU antitrust regulators have raised concerns that Korean Air’s acquisition of Asiana may restrict competition in the markets for passenger and cargo air transport services between the EU and South Korea.
The board meeting scheduled to be held in the afternoon is expected to be watched closely by stakeholders, as the outcome could potentially make or break the acquisition deal that has been pursued for the past three years.
Korean Air, the larger of South Korea’s two full-service airlines, also plans to hold its own board meeting Monday to discuss remedies to address concerns raised by the European Commission (EC), the EU’s executive body.
Korean Air plans to submit formal remedies by the end of the month. It is widely believed that the plan to sell Asiana’s cargo business and divest landing slots for four European cities will be included.
In a statement sent to Yonhap News Agency, Korean Air said it is “working closely with the EC and will submit formal remedies by the end of the month as requested by the authority to address the concerns.”
Korean Air has reportedly decided to retain the workers of Asiana Airlines on the condition that Asiana agrees to sell its cargo business for the takeover deal to be approved by EU regulators.
Unionized workers at Asiana Airlines have expressed opposition to such a move to sell off the cargo division, citing concerns of possible layoffs.