Samsung, Hyundai confirm luxury business jet acquisitions

Samsung, Hyundai confirm luxury business jet acquisitions

SEOUL - Samsung Group and Hyundai Motor Group on Friday confirmed that they would each be acquiring a new business jet for their top management, including the founding families of the Lees and the Chungs.

Samsung has already purchased Boeing's 737-700, which is to enter the country in October, according to Samsung sources including Samsung Techwin which deals in digital surveillance equipment and weapons technology.

Samsung currently already operates two jets.

"The airports are impossible to get through on commercial flights, and our management is constantly in need of getting around as fast as they can to handle urgent business," said one source close to Samsung regarding the acquisition.

Hyundai Motor, another top conglomerate, is also expected to add another jet, most likely the 737-700 from Boeing. The model is identical to Hyundai's existing jet and is to be deployed in March next year at the latest.

The sources said there is a possibility of the date being pushed up to the end of this year, depending on Hyundai's needs.

"It's true that we plan on adding a new business jet," a number of Hyundai Motor officials confirmed.

But contrary to some reports, Hyundai is unlikely to get rid of its current jet following the deployment of the new unit.

Prices were not unveiled - although some figures from the aviation industry put it at around 100 billion won (S$112 million) per jet - but industry watchers said a large part of the costs, aside from the actual plane, were due to altering the fuel tanks for longer, nonstop flights.

LG Group said it has no plans to add new jets.

The company currently deploys one jet, the Gulfstream G550 from General Dynamics, which was acquired in 2011. It can fly nonstop from Korea to the western US, while Samsung's jet can fly nonstop to the east.

LG Group chairman Koo Bon-moo flew on the Gulfstream this week for a trip to US to check up on LG's overseas offices in the area.

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