Korean Air said yesterday it will make a large investment if it succeeds in taking over Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI), the country’s sole aircraft manufacturer.
Korea’s leading flagship airline is competing with Hyundai Heavy Industries, the world’s largest shipbuilder, to acquire a 41.75 percent stake in KAI. Korea Finance Corporation, which is managing the sale as the biggest shareholder of KAI with a 26.41 percent stake, plans to pick a preferred bidder in early December before signing a final deal.
“To brace for KAI’s acquisition, Korean Air has drawn up a separate investment and management plan,” the airline said in a statement. “A specific investment plan will be announced once the takeover is finalized.”
Korean Air said its investment in KAI, based in the southern city of Sacheon, South Gyeongsang, will be similar in size to the sum it plans to spend on a technical center in the southern port city of Busan.
Last week, the carrier said it will invest more than 1.5 trillion won ($1.38 billion) until 2020 to expand its technical center near Busan Gimhae International Airport to build unmanned aerial vehicles and jointly develop civil aircraft in cooperation with Boeing and Airbus SAS, the two leading aircraft manufacturers.
Korean Air aims to add cutting-edge technologies to become one of the major companies participating in the international joint development of civil aircraft.