Jeju Air, South Korea’s biggest low-cost carrier, said Dec. 18 it has signed a deal to acquire Eastar Jet to cement its leading status in the budget carrier market.
The LCC will acquire a 51.17 percent stake in Eastar Jet for 69.5 billion won ($60 million) and sign a share purchase agreement with Eastar Holdings within this year, the company said in a regulatory filing.
Jeju Air operates 45 B737-800s -- 42 chartered and three purchased. The planes serve six domestic routes and 70 international routes, mainly to Singapore and other Southeast Asian countries.
Eastar operates 21 planes -- 17 B737-800s, two B737-900ERs and two B737 MAXs, the last of which have been suspended due to safety concerns -- on four domestic and 35 international routes to China, Japan and Southeast Asia.
Eastar has suffered from sharp declines in earnings as it has suspended operation of the B737 MAXs.
By Ram Garikipati and newswires (firstname.lastname@example.org)