Earlier this week, Alaska Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines reached an agreement to combine, thus expanding services and benefits for customers. In a $1.9 billion deal, Alaska Airlines officially acquired Hawaiian Airlines. First, the deal must go through several federal regulations to approve the merger, a task in itself following the recent break up of a regional partnership between JetBlue and American Airlines.
This involves waiting between 12 and 18 months as the merger undergoes approval by regulators and Hawaiian Airlines’ shareholders. Alaska Airlines CEO Ben Minicucci is hopeful; however, and, if the merger is approved, will see the combined company operate out of Seattle, Washington, where Alaska Airlines is currently headquartered. Honolulu, Hawai’I, will also become a key Alaska Airlines hub, creating greater international connectivity for West Coast travelers throughout the Asia-Pacific region with one-stop service through Hawai’i.
Both airlines will continue to keep their own brand while operating under one platform, but the merger will see a combined 365-airplane fleet spanning 138 destinations.
“This combination is an exciting next step in our collective journey to provide a better travel experience for our guests and expand options for West Coast and Hawai’i travelers,” said Ben Minicucci, CEO, Alaska Airlines. “We have a longstanding and deep respect for Hawaiian Airlines, for their role as a top employer in Hawai’i, and for how their brand and people carry the warm culture of aloha around the globe.
The merger is a victory for Hawaiian Airlines. Over the last few years, the airline suffered a series of challenges, including increased competition with Southwest Airlines and the recent Maui wildfires. After announcing the merger, Hawaiian Airlines’ stock nearly tripled.
So, what does the merger mean for customers? Passengers will benefit from more destination choices and increased international connectivity. In addition to a combined 138 destinations (including non-stop service to 29 international destinations), passengers also have access to 1,200 global destinations through the oneworld alliance.
The merger will also see expanded service and convenience for Hawai’i residents, including maintaining and growing union-represented jobs in the Hawai’ian Islands. The brands will continue to invest in employees’ careers and work with local communities in Hawai’i.
Together, the merger will have a combined 54.7 million annual passengers.
Passengers will also enjoy increased loyalty program benefits, including the chance to earn and redeem miles on 29 global partners and receive elite benefits on the full complement of oneworld alliance airlines. Other benefits include global lounge access and benefits of the combined program’s co-branded credit card.
What are your thoughts on this merger? What are you most excited about? How might the merger benefit you? Tell us your thoughts. Email us at [email protected]. Please include your full name and location.
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