Saturday, June 1News That Matters

Alaska Airlines Announces Acquisition of Hawaiian Airlines | News, Sports, Jobs


Alaska Airlines has agreed to purchase Hawaiian Airlines as part of a $1.9 billion deal announced in April 2022. The acquisition is significant, as both airlines have committed to maintaining current neighbor island service. The combined company will retain both brands, a departure from the typical industry acquisitions that have led to a few major airlines dominating the U.S. market.

Alaska Airlines will pay $18 in cash for each share of Hawaiian, with an additional $900 million in Hawaiian debt included in the deal. The joint company will be based in Seattle, with Alaska’s CEO, Ben Minicucci, at the helm. The acquisition is expected to add to profits within two years of the deal closing, which is anticipated to occur within 12 to 18 months.

The combined airline will become part of the oneworld Alliance, which boasts members such as American Airlines, British Airways, and Cathay Pacific. The deal will also honor Hawaiian Air loyalty program members, with plans to merge the programs and match elite statuses for those transitioning from Hawaiian to Alaska Airlines.

There are assurances provided on maintaining and growing union-represented workforces in Hawaii, and the merger between Alaska and Hawaiian is anticipated to triple the destinations accessible to passengers traveling from Hawaii. Additionally, customers will be able to reach nonstop service to 29 international destinations in the Americas, Asia, Australia, and the South Pacific.

While the acquisition still requires approval from Hawaiian Holdings shareholders and U.S. regulators, the airlines’ networks have few overlapping routes. As a result, the proposal might not lead to the kind of concern seen in previous airline consolidation efforts. The companies will also need to work with their unions to streamline operations, a process already being initiated through conversations with collective bargaining leaders.

Overall, the acquisition of Hawaiian Airlines by Alaska Airlines presents an opportunity to create a stronger competitor in the U.S. airline industry while maintaining a focus on providing low-cost, high-value fares for their customers.