Korean Air was one of the first airlines to be launched among the other Asian countries in 1946 along with Asiana Airlines, which later joined in 1988. The license to operate as an airliner was granted by the federal government body after reviewing the necessity at the national assembly. The Hanjin occupies the largest ownership of Korean Air as well as few low-budget airlines as of now. The Korean Air is among the founders of Sky Team, which was established in 2000. Asiana Airlines joined Star Alliance in 2003. Korean Air and Asiana Airlines comprise one of the largest combined airline miles and number of passenger served at the regional market of Asian airline industry
In recognition of the essential national economic role of a healthy aviation system, Congress authorized partial compensation of up to $5 billion in cash subject to review by the U.S. Department of Transportation and up to $10 billion in loan guarantees subject to review by a newly created Air Transportation Stabilization Board (ATSB). The applications to DOT for reimbursements were subjected to rigorous multi-year reviews not only by DOT program personnel but also by the Government Accountability Office and the DOT Inspector General.