February 24, 2024

Brighton Journal

Complete News World

Alaska Airlines plans to buy Hawaiian Airlines in a $1.9 billion deal

Alaska Airlines plans to buy Hawaiian Airlines in a $1.9 billion deal

“It’s not like you have the same dynamics at play,” said Henry Harteveldt, a travel industry analyst at Atmosphere Research. “Nobody is going to look at this merger and say, ‘Oh, we’re about to lose a low-cost airline.’”

While Alaska recovered from the pandemic relatively quickly, Hawaii has struggled to return to profitability. Initially, it suffered from the country’s strict coronavirus restrictions on incoming visitors, discouraging travellers. After those restrictions were lifted, demand began to recover, but Americans quickly turned their focus to international travel. Most recently, the airline has faced challenges due to delays in the delivery of new aircraft and wildfires on the island of Maui, which led to reduced traffic this summer.

The sale will also diversify the fleet of aircraft owned by Alaska, which operates only two types of aircraft, the Boeing 737 and the Embraer 175. After acquiring Virgin America, Alaska inherited some Airbus aircraft, but phased them out over several years. Hawaiian operates both Airbus and Boeing aircraft, and it will likely be years before Alaska decides how and whether to rebalance that fleet, Minicucci said.

“They have the right aircraft to fly in the markets they are in today,” he said.

Unions representing thousands of workers in both Alaska and Hawaii, including pilots, flight attendants, office workers, airport workers and other employees, declined to support or oppose the deal, saying they would work closely with the airlines to make sure workers benefit from the deal. Reduction.

“Our first priority is to determine whether this merger will improve conditions for flight attendants just like the benefits the companies have touted for shareholders and consumers,” the Association of Flight Attendants, which represents 9,000 workers from Alaska and Hawaii, as well as thousands more at several other airlines, said in a statement. “Our support for the merger will depend on this.”

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The airlines said they expect to put the deal to a Hawaiian investor vote sometime during the first three months of next year. If the deal is approved, they said, it is expected to take 12 to 18 months to close. Alaska will maintain its headquarters in Seattle and will continue to be managed by Mr. Minicucci, who became CEO in March 2021.