Korean Air has taken a 44 per cent stake in Czech Airlines, the first time a Korean carrier has taken a stake in a foreign airline.
The move was trailed on our forum last month, with the deal being formalised this week.
The agreement makes Korean Air the second largest shareholder in Czech Airlines, with the remaining 56 per cent being held by the Ministry of Finance of the Czech Republic.
Korean Air said that the deal would see the carrier expanding its network at Prague airport, through increased codeshares and improved connection schedules.
Czech Airlines will also be leased one of Korean Air’s A330-300 aircraft, to enable the carrier to launch direct flights between Prague and Seoul Incheon (a route already served four times-weekly by Korean Air using B777 aircraft).
Commenting on the deal Korean Air’s chairman and CEO Yang Ho Cho said;
“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.”
Korean Air is a founding member of the Skyteam alliance, with Czech Airlines joining in 2001.
Report by Mark Caswell