Jeju Air (7C, Jeju) has delayed the closing date for acquiring a 51.17% stake in fellow LCC Eastar Jet (ZE, Seoul Gimpo) for KRW54.4 billion (USD45 million), ostensibly due to delays in obtaining foreign regulators’ approvals, it said on April 28.

Jeju has already paid KRW11.95 billion (USD9.8 million) to Eastar Holdings for the deal, which was signed in March, with the remainder originally scheduled to be paid on April 29.

“The payment is expected to be made next month, as Vietnam and Thailand have yet to approve the merger of the two carriers,” a company spokesman told Yonhap News Agency.

Jeju Air has repeatedly said that the acquisition will help it gain a bigger market share and strengthen its competitiveness in global markets.

Consolidation among South Korea's budget airlines had been anticipated as the country has two full-service carriers, Asiana Airlines and Korean Air, and seven LCCs, Air Busan, Air Seoul, Eastar, Fly Gangwon, Jeju, Jin Air, and T'way Air. Aero K is expected to now debut operations in June.