Dec 3, 2023 - Business

Alaska Air to buy Hawaiian Airlines for $1.9 billion

Alaska and Hawaiian Airlines planes take off from San Francisco International Airport in June. Photo: Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Alaska Air Group Inc. has agreed to buy Hawaiian Airlines for around $1.9 billion, the companies announced on Sunday.

Why it matters: U.S. airline carriers have steadily consolidated over the years amid cutthroat competition and price wars, rivalries that only intensified in the post-pandemic travel boom.

Details: Alaska Air has agreed to pay $18 per share in cash for its Hawaiian rival, a premium of around four times the seller's closing price on Friday.

  • The two brands will remain intact, supported by a single loyalty offering.
  • Honolulu will become a key hub for the combined airlines.
  • The companies said they're committed to maintaining the union workforce in Hawai'i.
  • The combined organization will be based in Seattle under the leadership of Alaska Airlines CEO Ben Minicucci. "A dedicated leadership team will be established to focus on integration planning," the companies said in a joint release.

What they're saying: "The transaction is expected to enable a stronger platform for growth and competition in the U.S., as well as long-term job opportunities for employees, continued investment in local communities and environmental stewardship," the companies said.

What we're watching: The deal has been approved by both boards and is conditioned on certain regulatory approvals, approval by Hawaiian Holdings shareholders and other conditions.

  • The transaction is expected to take 12-18 months to close.

Of note: BofA and PJT advised Alaska Airlines, along with O'Melveny & Myers. Barclays and Wilson Sonsini advised Hawaiian Airlines.

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