The bidding for Asiana Airlines, South Korea's second-largest carrier, will take place on Thursday. 

According to aviation industry sources, the bidding will close at 2 p.m. and the preferred bidder will be selected within a couple of weeks following a review of the proposals and the preferred bidder's capacity to successfully operate the carrier. 

At present, the two front-runners to acquire Asiana are a consortium led by the conglomerate Aekyung Group and another led by the construction firm Hyundai Development. 

Kumho Industrial Company, which holds a 31 percent stake in the cash-strapped airline, plans to complete the sale by the end of this year. 

Industry sources estimate the sale price of Asiana and its affiliates, including two budget carriers Air Seoul and Air Busan, to be around one-point-five trillion to two trillion won, or about one-point-three to one-point-seven billion U.S. dollars.

[Photo : YONHAP News]