Alaska and Hawaiian airlines agree to merge in $1.9 billion deal

SEATTLE (AP) — Alaska Air Group said Sunday it agreed to buy Hawaiian Airlines in a $1.9 billion deal including debt.

The combined company would keep both airlines’ brands, rooted in the U.S.’s 49th and 50th states. 

Alaska will pay $18 in cash for each share of Hawaiian, whose stock closed Friday at $4.86. The deal also includes $900 million in Hawaiian debt, which the airlines said brings the acquisition’s total value to $1.9 billion.

The acquisition, approved by the boards of both airlines, is conditioned on approvals from regulatory authorities and Hawaiian Holdings shareholders (which is expected to be sought in the first quarter of 2024). The deal is expected to close in 12 to 18 months. 

The combined organization would be based in Seattle under the leadership of Alaska Airlines CEO Ben Minicucci. A leadership team will be established to focus on integration planning, Alaska said.

The combined airline would be in the Oneworld alliance, which includes American Airlines, British Airways and Cathay Pacific. It would also combine two networks to offer more connectivity to 138 destinations, including tripling destinations that can be reached within one stop in North America for travelers from Hawaii.

The companies said they would keep Honolulu as a key hub and that they’re “committed to maintaining and growing a union-represented workforce” in Hawaii. Alaska said it intends to maintain “robust” interisland service in Hawaii.

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