WSJ: Alaska Airlines Nearing Deal To Acquire Virgin America

Alaska Airlines is close to reaching a deal to acquire Virgin America for as high as $ 2 billion, the Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday.

Although there is no guarantee Alaska Airlines will close the deal, an announcement may follow on Monday.

Alaska Airlines has reportedly been vying for Virgin America along with rival Jet Blue Airways which stands to lose out on the bid for the acquisition.

Burlingame, California based Virgin America  is currently the ninth largest U.S. carrier measured by traffic and has a market cap of  $1.51 billion with its major hub at San Francisco International Airport and other focus city hubs at Los Angeles International Airport and Dallas Love Field.

Virgin America, known for its deluxe aircraft interiors and purple lighting, started offering airline service in August 2007 and is 54 percent owned by Richard Bronson’s Virgin Group Ltd., and Cyrus Capital Partners LP  founded by Stephen Freidheim which controls VAI Partners.

Sea-Tac, Washington based Alaska Airlines has its main hub in Seattle and was founded as McGee Airways in 1932 and offered flights to Anchorage, Alaska.

Today Alaska Airlines is the 6th largest airline by traffic and has a market capitalization of about $10 billion with flights made to 92 cities across the U.S., Canada, Costa Rica, and Mexico.

Alaska Airlines is one of the largest carriers on the West Coast of the U.S. with a strong presence and hubs in Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles, and Anchorage.

Alaska has been ranked by J.D. Power and Associates as having the highest customer satisfaction of the traditional airlines for the past eight years.

Alaska Airline’s parent group Alaska Air Group hasn’t successfully acquired another major airlines since 1986 when it acquired regional airline Horizon Air.

In 1995 Alaska Airlines became the first airline to sell tickets on the Internet and later installed self-service kiosks that allowed passengers to bypass the traditional ticket counter.


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