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Alaska Airlines has Agreed to Purchase Hawaiian Airlines for $1.9 billion

Alaska Air Group has entered into a $1.9 billion deal to acquire Hawaiian Airlines, marking the second proposed airline merger in less than two years. Under the agreement, Alaska will pay $18 per share for Hawaiian and assume $900 million of its debt.

Hawaiian Airlines has faced challenges, including increased competition from Southwest and recovery struggles in travel to and from Asia post-pandemic. The deal aims to position the combined companies as a “market leader” in the premium-travel Hawaii market. Alaska CEO Ben Minicucci expressed confidence in the deal’s approval, citing 12 overlapping markets and a larger network to compete with major carriers. The transaction is expected to close in 12 to 18 months, subject to regulatory approval and Hawaiian shareholders’ consent.

The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, representing cabin crews at both airlines, will evaluate the merger’s impact on workers. The combined company, based in Seattle, will operate under a single platform with both brands, boasting a 365-airplane fleet covering 138 destinations. This move follows Alaska Airlines’ acquisition of Virgin America in 2016.

The deal signifies a significant shift for Alaska, which primarily operates Boeing 737s, as it integrates Hawaiian’s complex mix of Boeing and Airbus jets. The merger is expected to triple nonstop or one-stop flights from the Hawaiian islands to destinations across North America, and it brings Hawaiian’s long-haul flights to and from Asia under Alaska’s umbrella. The deal anticipates at least $235 million in “run-rate synergies” to bolster earnings within the next two years.

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