The combined company would keep both airlines' brands
SEATTLE - Alaska Airlines agreed to buy Hawaiian Airlines in a $1.9 billion deal announced Sunday, potentially putting it on track for a clash with a Biden administration wary of higher airfares.
The combined company would maintain both airlines' brands, an unusual move in an industry where waves of acquisitions have led to four big brands dominating the U.S. market. On Sunday, the companies said Alaska will pay $18 in cash for each share of Hawaiian, whose stock closed Friday at $4.86 after losing just over half its value in the year so far.
Officials from both companies called the deal a chance to combine two carriers with few overlapping routes, which they said would create a stronger company to compete with the nation's Big Four: American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Southwest Airlines and United Airlines. It would also create a ''clear leader'' in the lucrative, $8 billion Hawaiian market, Alaska CEO Ben Minicucci said in a conference call with investors.