Images: Korean Air
Korean Air and Czech Airlines formalized Korean Air’s acquisition of 44 percent of the Czech airline at a signing ceremony yesterday in Prague.
Commemorating the moment were Mr. Yang Ho Cho, Chairman and CEO of the Hanjin Group and Korean Air; Mr. Chang Hoon Chi, Korean Air President and COO; Mr. Won Tae Cho, Executive Vice President Corporate Strategy & Planning Division; Prime Minister of the Czech Republic, Mr. Petr Necas; Mr. Miroslav Dvorak, chairman of Czech Aeroholding and several others at the Prime Minister’s office in Prague.
By acquiring 44 percent of Czech Airline’s shares, Korean Air becomes the airline’s second largest shareholder. Mr. Yang Ho Cho, Chairman and CEO of the Hanjin Group and Korean Air, 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 first Korean Airline to acquire foreign airlines’ stake
The acquisition of Czech Airline’s stake will go into the history of the Korean aviation industry: 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.
¦ Convenient and wider choice of flights to Europe
Korean Air passengers will be able to enjoy a wider variety of European routes because 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.