Korean Air and Czech Airlines have formalised Korean Air’s acquisition of 44 per cent of the Czech airline at a signing ceremony in Prague.
By acquiring the stake, Korean Air becomes the airline’s second largest shareholder.
Korean Air chairman Yang Ho Cho expressed his support of the transaction by saying “We have known Czech Airlines for a number of years, during which we have both been part of the SkyTeam alliance.
“Our successful codeshare collaboration only confirms that our decision to become a strategic partner of the Czech national carrier, culminating in our signing of the contract, is the correct decision.”
Founded in 1923, Czech Airlines operates 24 aircraft to 44 cities in 24 countries and is a member of the SkyTeam alliance, of which Korean Air is a founding member.
The acquisition of Czech Airline’s stake is an historic moment for the Korean aviation industry as it is the first time that a Korean airline has taken a stake in a foreign airline.
The overseas expansion in electronics and automobiles has been prominent, but this marks the first in the Korean aviation industry.
Korean Air passengers will be able to enjoy a wider variety of European routes as a result of this acquisition.
Passengers flying to European cities such as Berlin, Barcelona, Copenhagen, Milan, Brussels, Budapest and Warsaw can easily transfer through Prague’s airport.
With its perfect location, Prague offers connections to these cities in less than two hours.
Korean Air plans to expand its network through Prague airport by increasing its code share flights and improving its connection schedules with Czech Airlines.
Also, to help Czech Airlines operate direct flights between Prague and Incheon, Korean Air will lease the Czech carrier one of its A330-300s.
Czech Airlines plans to operate direct flights between Prague and Incheon twice a week – providing their customers a wider choice of schedule.