Alaska Airlines today announced plans to acquire Hawaiian Airlines for $1.9 billion. According to the company, the two brands will remain (at least for now). The corporate headquarters will remain in Seattle. HawaiianMiles will likely be folded into Alaska’s Mileage Plan, with Hawaiian become part of the oneworld alliance.
A new website has gone live with updates about the future plans: https://localcareglobalreach.com
Honolulu will become a new Alaska Airlines hub. Currently Hawaiian flies internationally to Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, and various destinations in the South Pacific. Hawaiian is set to receive 787 planes with Business Class suites in 2024. Currently their fleet includes twenty ancient Boeing 717s (which will undoubtedly be retired and replaced with Embraer 175s for inter island flights) and Airbus A321neos and A330s. Alaska Airlines finally offloaded their last Airbus planes that were part of Virgin America; so it will be interesting to see what they plan to do with Hawaiian’s Airbus heavy fleet. I would like to see them get rid of the A330s for the 787 which is a far superior plane.
I believe that Alaska Airlines is a worse airline than it was before the Virgin America purchase. This acquisition will again change the culture of the company for better or worse. I will be watching for additional details in the months ahead.