Alaska Air Closes Virgin America Acquisition, Becomes 5th Largest Carrier
Alaska Air Group became the nation’s fifth largest carrier following the closing of its acquisition of Virgin America Wednesday.
The combined carrier eclipsed JetBlue Airways, which attempted to outbid Alaska for Virgin America. It now offers 1,200 daily flights to 118 destinations in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica, and Cuba. It will also offer more nonstop destinations from the West Coast than any airline
The move came one week after the Department of Justice gave the two airlines the green light on the condition that Alaska scale back its codeshares with American Airlines, the world’s largest carrier.
The airline said it hasn’t yet made a decision as to whether to keep the Virgin America brand and what to do with that airline’s fleet of Airbus A320 aircraft. Alaska has an all-Boeing 737 fleet and said a decision on the brand should come in the next few months.
Alaska said that members of both airlines’ frequent flyer programs will be able to earn rewards on the other’s flights starting December 19 and that members with elite status on one airline will immediately receive priority check-in and boarding on the other. In addition, also starting on the December 19, travelers will be able to purchase flights on Virgin America using Alaska’s website.
(Photo: Accura Media Group)