Korean Air has acquired a 44 per cent stake in Czech Airline, making it the second largest shareholder of the European air carrier, thus facilitating its entry into new European routes, according to the Shipping Gazette.
Yang Ho Cho, chairman and CEO of the Hanjin Group and Korean Air, expressed support for the transaction.
"We have known Czech Airlines for a number of years, during which we have both been part of the SkyTeam alliance," said Yang Ho Cho, chairman and CEO of the Hanjin Group and Korean Air."
"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," he said.
Czech Airlines, which was founded in 1923, operates 24 aircraft to 44 cities in 24 countries. This is the first time a Korean airline has taken a stake in a foreign airline.
The airline explained that Korean Air will be able to provide 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.
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.