Korean Air's proposed acquisition of Asiana not opposed

1 September 2022

The ACCC will not oppose Korean Air Lines Co. Ltd.’s (Korean Air) proposed acquisition of Asiana Airlines, Inc (Asiana).

Korean Air and Asiana are airlines based in South Korea that provide air passenger and air cargo services between Sydney and Seoul.  

“The acquisition will combine the only two current providers of direct flights between Sydney and Seoul. Critically, however, Qantas and Jetstar will shortly be commencing services on this route,” ACCC Chair Gina Cass-Gottlieb said.

On 8 April 2022, the Qantas Group announced that Qantas and Jetstar would commence providing direct air passenger services between Sydney and Seoul. Qantas and Jetstar have begun selling tickets on this route with flights beginning in November and December 2022.

The Qantas Group will also provide air cargo services by transporting freight on all its Sydney-Seoul passenger flights.

“We consider that the Qantas Group offering flights on the Sydney to Seoul route with both its full-service and low-cost carriers means that there is likely to be effective competition whether or not the acquisition proceeds,” Ms Cass-Gottlieb said.

The ACCC’s investigation concluded that Asiana is not a ‘failing firm’ as defined in the ACCC’s Merger Guidelines, after examining the issue.

Further information is available at: Korean Air Lines Co., Ltd - Asiana Airlines, Inc.

Background:

Korean Air is a full-service airline based in South Korea, offering air passenger and air cargo services, with domestic and international operations. Korean Air operates direct air passenger services between Sydney and Seoul. Korean Air also offers cargo services between South Korea and Australia.

Asiana is a full-service airline based in Seoul, South Korea, offering air passenger and air cargo services, with domestic and international operations. Asiana offers air passenger services in Australia between Sydney and Seoul. Asiana also offers codeshare services on Singapore Airlines flights between Perth and Singapore. Asiana offers air cargo services between South Korea and Australia.

On 22 February 2022 the Korea Fair Trade Commission found Asiana did not meet the definition of a failing firm when considering the proposed acquisition by Korean Air.

Release number: 
121/22
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Media enquiries: 
Media Team - 1300 138 917, media@accc.gov.au

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