Published: 15 Feb 2008: South Korea´s Asiana Airlines is to enter the budget airline market by taking a controlling stake in Pusan International Air.
According to local media, Asiana, Pusan International and the city of Busan signed a memorandum of understanding on the deal.
Asiana will buy a 46% stake in Busan International Air, a local airline based in the southern port city of Busan, for Won23bn ($24.3m). Asiana said it will begin with domestic services this year.
Among others, Korean Air plans to launch budget carrier named Air Korea in May and existing domestic budget carriers Jeju Air and Hansung Airlines aim to launch international services in the second half of this year.
According to media reports, other than Hansung and Jeju, six more budget airlines, including Yeongnam Air and PurpleJet, will start servicing the market. In the past, an announcement regarding the first joint venture between a foreign carrier, Singapore Airlines, and Incheon City _ Incheon-Tiger Airways, too, was made.