Alaska Airlines to buy Hawaiian Airlines in $1.9 billion deal – CBS News

Alaska Airlines has reached an agreement to buy Hawaiian Airlines, the company announced Sunday.

Alaska Air Group, Inc. will pay $18 per share – a transaction value of approximately $1.9 billion – for Hawaiian Holdings, Inc., the parent company of Hawaiian Airlines.

The boards of both companies have agreed to the deal, which is expected to close in 12 to 18 months, according to a statement from the airlines. The deal still requires approval from U.S. regulators and Hawaiian Holdings, Inc. shareholders.

Regulatory approval is not a guarantee. Earlier this year, a federal judge ruled that JetBlue and American Airlines must end their partnership because the alliance weakens competition and harms consumers. The Justice Department is also trying to block JetBlue’s planned acquisition of Spirit Airlines.

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Alaska Air Group reached an agreement to purchase Virgin America in 2016. Later, Alaska Airlines dropped the Virgin America name and logo.

Under the terms of the new agreement between Alaska Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines, the combined organization will be based in Seattle and led by Alaska Airlines CEO Ben Minicucci.

“This combination is an exciting next step in our shared journey to provide a better travel experience for our guests and expand options for travelers on the West Coast and Hawaii,” Minicucci said in a statement.

The airlines said the move will preserve both brands and open up more destinations for air travelers. The combined company will offer flights to 138 destinations, including non-stop connections to 29 top international destinations in the Americas, Asia, Australia and the South Pacific, the statement said.

Earlier this year, travel website The Points Guy ranked Alaska Airlines as the third best airline in the U.S., behind Delta Air Lines and United Airlines. Hawaiian Airlines came in sixth place.

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