Alaska Air Deal Makes It Bigger Than JetBlue

Airline strikes deal to buy Virgin America
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 4, 2016 6:03 AM CDT
An Alaska Airlines Boeing 737-800 at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.   (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
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(Newser) – Alaska Air will leapfrog JetBlue to become the nation's fifth-largest airline after striking a deal to buy Virgin America, reports the Seattle Times. Alaska Air announced the deal Monday morning after what the Wall Street Journal reports was a "frenzied" bidding war with JetBlue, one that resulted in a higher-than-expected $2.6 billion price tag. The deal still must be approved by regulators. Alaska Air would add 60 Airbus jets to its fleet of 147 Boeings—the airline is based in Seattle—and solidify its status as a "West Coast power," notes the Times. As USA Today reports, the new airline would have 1,200 departures daily and hubs in Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Anchorage, and Portland. It's not clear whether the Virgin brand would disappear entirely. (Read more Alaska Airlines stories.)

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