Korean Air has selected Air Incheon as the preferred bidder for the sale of Asiana Airlines’ global cargo freighter business. The decision was made at the Board of Directors meeting held on June 17.

Korean Air selected Air Incheon as the preferred bidder based on several key criteria: the certainty of completing the transaction, the ability to maintain and enhance long-term competitiveness of the air cargo business, and the capability to mobilize funds through a competent consortium.

Founded in 2012, Air Incheon is Korea’s only all-cargo airline, with operations focused in Asia. Air Incheon is expected to strengthen its competitiveness by utilizing Asiana Airlines’ long-haul network to the Americas and Europe, and fleet of larger cargo aircraft.

Korean Air plans to sign a framework agreement with Air Incheon in July after agreeing on the contract conditions. The agreement is subject to review by the European Commission.

“The preferred bidder was selected through a comprehensive evaluation of all factors crucial to the growth of the air cargo industry, a key national industry, while maintaining the existing competitive environment,” said a Korean Air representative. “We are committed to quickly finalizing the sales process through flexible negotiations, and completing the acquisition of Asiana Airlines.”