[Photo by Korean Air Line Co.]
U.S. regulators approved a joint venture of South Korea’s largest full-service carrier Korean Air Line Co. and Delta Air Lines, raising hopes that the Korean government would also give the final nod to the plan.
The Korean carrier on Sunday said the U.S. Department of Transportation okayed the trans-Pacific joint venture between the two airlines on Friday (local time), four months after they submitted proposals to their respective governments. The Korean government is expected to follow suit by the year-end, according to industry sources.
The partnership will create great synergies when Incheon International Airport, Korea’s main gateway, opens its second passenger terminal on Jan. 18, industry observers said.
The two airlines in June signed the joint venture agreement to promote joint operations in about 24 Asia-Pacific routes connecting 290 cities in the United States and 80 cities in Asia.
Under the antitrust immunity granted by the U.S. in 2002, the two airlines are allowed to share revenue and costs from the flights.
By Chun Jung-hong and Kim Hyo-jin
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