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Alaska Airlines to buy Hawaiian Airlines for AUD$2.87 billion


The all-cash transaction will bring the two airlines together operationally, while maintaining the networks of both brands.

Alaska Airlines will acquire Hawaiian Airlines but continue to operate both brands.

Alaska Airlines will acquire Hawaiian Airlines in a US$1.9 billion (AU$2.87 billion) deal which the Seattle-based carrier says is designed to boost service frequencies on the U.S. west coast.

The deal, now subject to regulatory and shareholder approval, will create a combined network of 365 single- and twin-aisle aircraft serving 138 destinations directly and more than 1,200 through combined partner networks.

Last year, Alaska Airlines announced a purchase of 52 Boeing 737-8 MAX aircraft, with purchase rights for a further 105, as part of a major fleet modernisation program, with the new jets up to 25 percent more fuel efficient than older models.

The airline will take delivery of its first new plane in February next year, with deliveries running through to 2027.

Alaska’s amalgamation is also likely to see Hawaiian Airlines join the Oneworld alliance, bringing it into a group which includes Pacific and domestic rivals Qantas, American Airlines and Japan Airlines.

Should this happen, Hawaiian Airlines may opt to end its interline partnership with Virgin Australia, despite Virgin CEO Jayne Hrdlicka currently sitting on the Hawaiian Holdings Board of Directors.

While Honolulu will become a hub for the combined entity, which in turn will open up expanded services for travellers moving through Oahu to outer Hawaiian islands as well as to the Alaska Airlines network which includes the Caribbean along with Central America.

Hawaiian Airlines could become the next member of the Oneworld Alliance.

Once fully operational, the combined network is likely to significantly improve connectivity between Australia and the United States, both through Alaska Airlines’ existing Oneworld membership and Hawaiian’s one-stop offering from Sydney to 16 destinations on the U.S mainland.

Hawaiian Airlines may seek to join the Oneworld alliance as a full member in its own right or simply seek to benefit from Alaska Airlines’ existing membership once the two networks are integrated.

“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 travellers,” said Alaska Airlines CEO Ben Minicucci.

“Since 1929, Hawaiian Airlines has been an integral part of life in Hawaii and together with Alaska Airlines, we will be able to deliver more for our guests, employees and the communities that we serve,” added Hawaiian Airlines CEO, Peter Ingram.

The two airlines will continue to operate under their respective brands and maintain existing networks, while combining into one operating platform.

It’s unclear at this stage whether any changes will come to the loyalty programs of either carrier – Mileage Plan or Hawaiian Miles.

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Written by: Matt Lennon
Published: 5 December 2023

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