Asiana, Korean Air LCC Subsidiaries To Combine

Credit: Rob Finlayson

Korean Air is making plans for the integration of three subsidiary LCCs after its takeover of Asiana Airlines is finalized.

The proposed acquisition of Asiana also includes LCCs Air Busan and Air Seoul. Korean Air already has an LCC subsidiary, Jin Air.

Korean Air president and CEO Walter Cho confirmed that the three LCCs will be merged under the Jin Air brand. The current Jin Air livery will likely be retained for the combined LCC, Cho said on the sidelines of the IATA AGM in Doha this month.

Seoul Incheon (ICN) will be the main hub for the combined LCC, while Busan (PUS) will be a secondary hub, Cho said.

The merger will be complicated by the fact that the LCCs have different fleet types. Jin Air has a fleet of 16 Boeing 737s, with four 777-200ERs for use on long haul routes, according to Aviation Week’s fleet database.

Air Busan’s fleet has a total of 21 Airbus A320s, A321s and A321neos. Air Seoul has five A321s.

Cho stressed that Korean Air has not gone too deeply into the LCC fleet merger plan yet. However, he said he is interested in the idea of introducing Airbus A220s to the combined carrier, as he believes these aircraft would be well-suited to LCC operations.

Korean Air mainline already operates A220-300s.

Adrian Schofield

Adrian is a senior air transport editor for Aviation Week, based in New Zealand. He covers commercial aviation in the Asia-Pacific region.