Last month Alaska Airlines was chasing the sun , this month they’re buying Virgin America.
The announcement was made official this morning in a press release that gives the purchase price $2.6 billion.
“Including existing Virgin America indebtedness and capitalized aircraft operating leases, the aggregate transaction value is approximately $4.0 billion,” the airline said in a release.
Alaska airlines said the deal expands its existing footprint in California and “bolsters its platform for growth and strengthens the company as a competitor to the four largest U.S. airlines.”
Virgin America customers get more service into the Silicon Valley and Seattle, more frequent connections to Alaska’s international airline partners on flights out of Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles and access to some slot-controlled airports such as Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, JFK and LaGuardia.
With our expanded network and strong presence in California, we’ll offer customers more attractive flight options for nonstop travel. We look forward to bringing together two incredible groups of employees to build on the successes they have achieved as standalone companies to make us an even stronger competitor nationally.”said Brad Tilden, chairman and CEO of Alaska Air Group, in a statement.
“Joining forces with Alaska Airlines will ensure that our mission lives on, and that the stronger, combined company will continue to be a great place to work and an airline that focuses on an outstanding travel experience,” said David Cush, Virgin America president and CEO in the morning news release.
The company headquarters will stay in Seattle and Virgin America Elevate members will get folded into the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan.