In a major mega-merger, Alaska Airlines is purchasing Hawaiian Airlines in a blockbuster $1.9 billion deal.
The two airlines will combine under one operating platform, but the individual branding of each airline will remain unchanged.
“The combined company will unlock more destinations for consumers and expand choice of critical air service options and access throughout the Pacific region, Continental United States and globally,” Alaska Airlines said in a company release. “The transaction is expected to enable a stronger platform for growth and competition in the U.S., as well as long-term job opportunities for employees, continued investment in local communities and environmental stewardship.”
Hawaiian Airlines was founded in 1929 originally as “Inter-Island Airways” before changing its name to Hawaiian Airlines in 1941. Alaska Airlines, meanwhile, was founded in 1932 and didn’t begin service to the East Coast of the United States until 2001 when it started operating a route to Washington, D.C.
Honolulu will now be a key hub for Alaska Airlines, which will increase the number of flights for West Coast passengers wanting to go in and out of Hawaii, as well as open more flight opportunities for Hawaiians looking to travel to Asia and other continents.
Alaska and Hawaiian Airlines planes takeoff at the same time from San Francisco International Airport (Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
The new combined airline will also have a joint loyalty program, which will allow members to redeem and earn miles and points through up to 29 global partners.
“In Alaska Airlines, we are joining an airline that has long served Hawai’i, and has a complementary network and a shared culture of service,” said Hawaiian Airlines President and CEO Peter Ingram in a statement.
The deal, which has been approved by both boards, is expected to close within the next 12 to 18 months.
Hawaiian Airlines stock skyrocketed over 192% in a 24-hour period as of late Monday afternoon upon news of the acquisition.