Alaska Air Group Inc. has recently announced its plan to acquire Hawaiian Airlines in a deal worth approximately $1.9 billion. The transaction will involve Alaska Air paying $18 per share in cash, along with assuming around $900 million of Hawaiian’s net debt. This will result in a total equity value of roughly $1 billion.
The acquisition is anticipated to further strengthen Alaska Air’s position as the fifth-largest airline in the country, boosting its combined fleet to 365 airplanes and expanding its reach to 138 destination cities. With an annual passenger count of 54.7 million, the airline aims to establish Honolulu as a crucial hub, facilitating expanded services between Hawaii and the mainland U.S. Additionally, new connections for flights to and from Asia will be established.
Despite the acquisition, both Alaska Air and Hawaiian Airlines will retain their respective brand identities. The headquarters of the combined company will be based in Seattle, and Alaska Air emphasizes the mutually beneficial nature of their domestic, international, and cargo networks.
Alaska Air is committed to maintaining a significant presence in Hawaii and plans to enhance union-represented jobs and local investments. The integration of both airlines is viewed as an exciting development in their shared goal of improving the travel experience for customers while offering expanded travel options for passengers traveling between the West Coast and Hawaii.
Ben Minicucci, Chief Executive of Alaska Airlines, expressed his enthusiasm about the acquisition, stating, “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 Hawaii travelers.”
The acquisition has received approval from the boards of both companies but is still subject to regulatory approval and agreement from Hawaiian’s shareholders. It is estimated that the deal will be finalized within the next 12-18 months.
This acquisition follows a trend of consolidation within the airline industry, with other notable transactions taking place. For example, JetBlue Airways is currently in the process of acquiring budget carrier Spirit Airlines for $3.8 billion, a move that is encountering resistance from the Justice Department on antitrust grounds.
As of year-to-date figures, Alaska Air shares have experienced a 7% decline, while Hawaiian Airlines’ stock has faced a significant decrease of 53% in 2023.