AI image of Hawaiian Airlines jet being rebranded to Alaskan airlines after purchase

Alaska Airlines Acquires Hawaiian Airlines

Regarding U.S. air travel, the most popular companies are probably Delta, American, United, and Southwest. But if you’ve traveled to Alaska or Hawaii, you’ve likely considered Alaska Airlines or Hawaiian Airlines.

Today, we’re sharing a recent development in the airline industry. Alaska Airlines has focused on expanding options for West Coast travelers and creating a new platform for growth over the years.

With the acquisition of Hawaiian Airlines, the company believes it will initiate more competition among airlines while also providing increased employee benefits. Let’s dive in and learn more!

The History of Alaska Airlines

In 1944, Star Air Service changed its name to Alaska Airlines. In the late 1960s, the company merged with Alaska Coastal-Ellis and Cordova Airlines. After this merger, Alaska Airlines stretched from Fairbanks to Ketchikan to Seattle.

In 1979, the airline experienced changes yet again when it expanded along the West Coast. In 1987, Horizon Air and Jet America joined forces with Alaska Airlines.

It wasn’t until 2001 that Alaska Airlines serviced the East Coast, opening flights to Washington, D.C.

In 2016, Alaska Airlines acquired Virgin America. Today, the airline flies nationwide, including 34 states and the District of Columbia.

It also has flights to the Bahamas, Belize, Costa Rica, Canada, Guatemala, and Mexico.

The History of Hawaiian Airlines

Like Alaska Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines has a rich history. In 1929, Inter-Island Airways was born with the first scheduled inter-island flights to Maui and the Big Island of Hawaii.

In 1941, its name was changed to Hawaiian Airlines. It wasn’t until 1966 that Hawaiian Airlines started offering jet services.

In the 1980s, Hawaiian Airlines turned its focus to providing flights to Los Angeles. By the mid-1980s, the airline serviced flights to Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Portland, Las Vegas, and Anchorage.

During this time, Hawaiian Airlines also started making flights to Australia and New Zealand.

However, during the 1990s and early 2000s, the company faced hardships, filed for bankruptcy twice, and began reconstruction.

Today, Hawaiian Airlines is Hawaii’s biggest and longest-serving airline. It’s also the largest operator of commercial flights to and from Hawaii.

The company provides non-stop service to Hawaii from destinations in North America, Asia, and the South Pacific.

Why Would Alaska Airlines Buy Hawaiian Airlines?

The biggest reason Alaska Airlines will acquire Hawaiian Airlines is the opportunity for increased options for travelers.

The purchase will expand destinations, providing better competition in the airline industry.

However, Alaska Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines are unique in that they serve states that are heavily reliant on air travel.

They’re committed to long-term employee opportunities and better care for their consumers. This long-standing shared culture of service will better both airlines.

Will Hawaiian Airlines Change Its Name?

No, Hawaiian Airlines will not change its name or operate under the Alaska Airlines brand. Instead, both brands will integrate into a single operating platform.

By doing this, each company will remain committed to remarkable service and hospitality while operating with more reliability. 

What Are the Benefits of This Acquisition For Travelers?

One benefit of this acquisition is the increased options for travelers. This expansion will provide more quality offerings across a wide range of budgets.

Not only will Alaska Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines compete on par with other network carriers, but they’ll also be able to offer long-haul international flights as well as low-fare domestic options.

Passengers will have access to 138 destinations, including non-stop service to 29 top international destinations.

This acquisition is very beneficial for Hawaiians because they’ll maintain the inter-island service while tripling their North American destinations.

What Are the Benefits of This Acquisition For Airline Employees?

Alaska Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines are recognized for their commitment to their employees. This legacy will continue even after this acquisition becomes final by maintaining and growing union-represented jobs in Hawaii, establishing Honolulu as a key Alaska Airlines hub, and creating more geographic mobility for employees.

In addition, Alaska Airlines is committed to maintaining the strong community focus that Hawaiian Airlines has established over the decades.

The company is focused on promoting tourism to Hawaii and becoming even more sustainable. The airlines also have workforce initiatives to support future jobs with partnerships with the Honolulu Community College Aeronautics Maintenance Technology Program and Alaska Airlines’ Ascend Pilot Academy.

When Will the Purchase Transaction Close?

Both boards have approved the transaction agreement. While the acquisition isn’t complete, it’s expected to close in less than 18 months.

Regulatory approvals are still needed by Hawaiian Holdings, Inc. shareholders. We can expect to see this completed by the end of 2024 or the beginning of 2025.

Will The Alaska Airlines And Hawaiian Airlines Combination Lead To Better Travel Experiences?

While the proposed benefits to both travelers and employees are positive, only time will tell if this acquisition by Alaska Airlines will truly be profitable and lead to better travel options. However, Alaska Airlines isn’t new to the purchasing game. Over the decades, the company has acquired several brands and expanded its offerings. We believe this purchase will be no different and lead to a better travel experience.

Have you ever flown with Alaska Airlines or Hawaiian Airlines? What was your experience?

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