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Korean Air and Asiana Airlines merger delayed by two years

March 30, 2021
3 min read
Korean Air and Asiana Airlines merger delayed by two years
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It's going to be a few more years until Korean Air lands on the world's largest airlines list.

The carrier's merger with Asiana Airlines just hit a snag during a regulatory review process. Now, the updated timeline proposes an acquisition in 2022 and a full merger by 2024, as first reported by The Korean Times. The original plan was for the takeover to be completed by next year.

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The holdup is reportedly due to getting antitrust approval from countries served by Korean. In a statement to TPG, Korean mentioned that it's pleased with the merger progress thus far and will continue to readjust the timeline as needed.

Korean Air has no outstanding issues with the acquisition and, so far, the integration is going as we expected. The post merger plan has been submitted to the Korea Development Bank (KDB), and we secured enough liquidity to finalize the acquisition through raising the necessary capital.
The acquisition can be finalized upon the merger approval from relevant countries, and we readjusted our timeline just in case some countries require more time to review and approve. The business integration plan involves every aspect of our operation and 2024 is what we are estimating finalize all aspects of the deal.
We assume the plan will be revised after KDB's review, and we will keep you posted.

In November 2020, Korean announced that it would acquire a nearly 64% stake in Asiana Airlines for 1.8 trillion won ($1.6 billion), South Korea's second-largest airline. When complete, the two carriers will combine to become the seventh-largest airline in the world.

Effectively eliminating a competitor isn't usually good news for travelers, especially in the case of Korean and Asiana, which both belong to two separate airline alliances.

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Related: Best ways to redeem Chase points on Star Alliance airlines

If the deal goes through, it's widely expected that Asiana will leave the Star Alliance and move to SkyTeam, of which Korean was a founding member.

That means those looking to score sweet-spot redemptions with Star Alliance partner loyalty programs, like Air Canada Aeroplan and United MileagePlus will need to make those bookings before the takeover is complete.

With international travel still largely off-limits, the delayed merger will buy some more time for savvy travelers to make those redemptions.

Featured image by AFP via Getty Images
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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    Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.

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    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

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Why We Chose It

Sometimes it's worth a large investment to reap the benefits of a great credit card. That's exactly the case with the Amex Platinum card. In exchange for the annual fee, you'll unlock access to the Amex Membership Rewards program that let you access airline and hotel transfer partners, along with new lifestyle and travel credits. This card is also incredibly rewarding for travel purchases, helping you rack up a ton of Membership Rewards points for your next award trip.

Pros

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  • This card comes with a long list of benefits, including access to Centurion Lounges, complimentary elite status with Hilton and Marriott, at least $500 in assorted annual statement credits and so much more. (Enrollment required for select benefits.)
  • The Amex Platinum comes with access to a premium concierge service that can help you with everything from booking hard-to-get reservations to finding destination guides to help you plan out your next getaway.

Cons

  • The high annual fee is only worth it if you’re taking full advantage of the card’s benefits. Seldom travelers may not get enough value to warrant the cost.
  • Outside of the current welcome bonus, you’re only earning higher rewards on specific airfare and hotel purchases, so it’s not a great card for other spending categories.
  • The annual airline fee statement credit can be complicated to take advantage of compared to the broader travel credits offered by competing premium cards.
  • Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Apply and select your preferred metal Card design: classic Platinum Card®, Platinum x Kehinde Wiley, or Platinum x Julie Mehretu.
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year and earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
  • Get $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings, which requires a minimum two-night stay, through American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®.
  • $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 back each month on eligible purchases made with your Platinum Card® on one or more of the following: Audible, Disney+, The Disney Bundle, ESPN+, Hulu, Peacock, SiriusXM, and The New York Times. Enrollment required.
  • $155 Walmart+ Credit: Cover the cost of a $12.95 monthly Walmart+ membership with a statement credit after you pay for Walmart+ each month with your Platinum Card. Cost includes $12.95 plus applicable local sales tax. Plus Ups are excluded.
  • American Express has expanded The Centurion® Network to include 40+ Centurion Lounge and Studio locations worldwide. There are even more places your Platinum Card® can get you complimentary entry and exclusive perks.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one select qualifying airline.
  • $200 Uber Cash: Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status is available to Basic Card Member only.
  • Get up to $300 back per calendar year on the Equinox+ digital fitness app, or eligible Equinox club memberships when you pay with your Platinum Card. Enrollment required. Learn more.
  • Breeze through security with CLEAR® lanes available at 100+ airports, stadiums, and entertainment venues and get up to $189 back per calendar year on your membership when you use your Card. Learn more.
  • $695 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees