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

“It’s not like you’ve got the same dynamics in play,” said Henry Hartveldt, a travel analyst at Atmospheric Research.

While Alaska recovered relatively quickly from the pandemic, Hawaii struggled to return to profitability. At first, it suffered from strict state Covid restrictions on inbound visitors, which discouraged travelers. After those restrictions were lifted, demand began to recover, but Americans soon turned their attention to international travel. More recently, delays in the delivery of new flights and the wildfires in Maui have led to a drop in traffic this summer.

The sale will diversify Alaska’s fleet of aircraft, which operates just two types of aircraft, the Boeing 737 and the Embraer 175. After buying Virgin America, Alaska inherited some Airbus planes, but they were phased out over the years. Hawaiian operates both Airbus and Boeing planes, and it will be several years before Alaska decides how to restructure that fleet, Mr. Minicusi said.

“They’ve got the right airplanes 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, have refrained from supporting or opposing the deal, saying they will work closely with the airlines to ensure workers benefit. Sales.

“Our first priority is to determine whether the merger will improve conditions for flight attendants, similar to the benefits the companies have described to shareholders and consumers,” the flight attendants union, which represents 9,000 Alaska and Hawaii workers, and thousands more at several carriers, said in a statement. “Our support for the merger depends on it.”

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The airlines said they expect to put the deal to a vote of Hawaiian investors in the first three months of next year. If approved, the transaction is expected to take 12 to 18 months to complete. Alaska will retain its Seattle headquarters, and Mr. Continued under the leadership of Miniguchi.

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