Category Archives: Alaska Air Group

Alaska Air Group reports second quarter 2018 results

Alaska Airlines Boeing 737-900 ER WL N283AK (msn 36358) PAE (Nick Dean). Image: 940240.

Financial Highlights:

  • Reported net income for the second quarter under Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) of $193 million, or $1.56 per diluted share, compared to net income of $293 million, or $2.36 per diluted share in the second quarter of 2017. As the company has recently implemented new accounting standards, including the standards relating to revenue recognition and retirement benefits, 2017 financial information has been adjusted.
  • Reported second quarter 2018 adjusted diluted earnings per share of $1.66 compared to $2.48 reported in the second quarter of 2017. Second quarter adjusted net income excluding special items such as merger-related costs and mark-to-market fuel hedge accounting adjustments was $206 million compared to $309 million in the second quarter of 2017. This quarter’s adjusted results compare to the First Call analyst consensus estimate of $1.63 per share.
  • Paid a $0.32 per-share quarterly cash dividend in the second quarter, a 7% increase over the dividend paid in the second quarter of 2017.
  • Repurchased a total of 389,739 shares of common stock for approximately $25 million in the first six months of 2018.
  • Generated approximately $725 million of operating cash flow, including merger-related costs and other special items.
  • Held $1.6 billion in unrestricted cash and marketable securities as of June 30, 2018.

Operational Highlights:

  • Transitioned to a single Passenger Service System (PSS) in April 2018, enabling us to provide one reservation system, one website and one inventory of flights to our guests.
  • Reached a merger transition agreement with the Transport Workers Union (TWU) to combine Boeing and Airbus dispatchers into a single group.
  • Completed Premium Class rollout on our Boeing 737-800, 900 and 900ER fleets.
  • Added Aer Lingus as a global Mileage Plan partner.
  • Added two Boeing 737-900ER aircraft and two Airbus A321neo aircraft to the mainline operating fleet in the second quarter of 2018. Added four Embraer 175 (E175) regional jets to Horizon Air’s fleet in the second quarter of 2018 and four E175 aircraft operated by SkyWest Airlines.

Recognition and Awards:

  • Ranked “Highest in Customer Satisfaction Among Traditional Carriers” in 2018 by J.D. Power for the 11th year in a row.
  • Received top honors in three Skytrax World Airline Awards categories including “Best Regional Airline in North America,” “Best Airline Staff in North America,” and “Best Cabin Crew in the USA.”
  • Virgin America was rated Best Domestic Airline in Travel + Leisure “World’s Best Awards” for 11 years in a row.
  • Ranked among Forbes’ 2018 “America’s Best Employers” for the fourth year in a row.
  • Awarded “Best Food and Beverage in the Americas” by Airline Passenger Service Experience Association (APEX) passenger choice awards for 2018.
  • Received 17th Diamond Award of Excellence from the Federal Aviation Administration, recognizing both Alaska and Horizon’s aircraft technicians for their commitment to training.

Alaska Air Group, Inc., today reported second quarter 2018 GAAP net income of $193 million, or $1.56 per diluted share, compared to $293 million, or $2.36 per diluted share in the second quarter of 2017. Excluding the impact of merger-related costs and mark-to-market fuel hedge adjustments, the company reported adjusted net income of $206 million, or $1.66 per diluted share, compared to $309 million, or $2.48 per diluted share, in 2017.

“In the last year and half, we’ve made tremendous progress bringing Alaska Airlines and Virgin America together,” said CEO Brad Tilden. “We’re on very solid footing today thanks to the fantastic efforts of our employees, who delivered exceptional on-time performance and earned our 11th consecutive J.D. Power award for highest in customer satisfaction – all while completing the most complex part of our integration.”

The following table reconciles the company’s reported GAAP net income and earnings per diluted share (diluted EPS) for the three and six months ended June 30, 2018 and 2017 to adjusted amounts.

 

Statistical data, as well as a reconciliation of the reported non-GAAP financial measures, can be found in the accompanying tables. A glossary of financial terms can be found on the last page of this release.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Note A: Pursuant to Regulation G, we are providing reconciliations of reported non-GAAP financial measures to their most directly comparable financial measures reported on a GAAP basis. We believe that consideration of these non-GAAP financial measures may be important to investors for the following reasons:

  • By eliminating fuel expense and certain special items (including merger-related costs) from our unit metrics, we believe that we have better visibility into the results of operations and our non-fuel cost-reduction initiatives. Our industry is highly competitive and is characterized by high fixed costs, so even a small reduction in non-fuel operating costs can result in a significant improvement in operating results. In addition, we believe that all domestic carriers are similarly impacted by changes in jet fuel costs over the long run, so it is important for management (and thus investors) to understand the impact of (and trends in) company-specific cost drivers such as labor rates and productivity, airport costs, maintenance costs, etc., which are more controllable by management.
  • Cost per ASM (CASM) excluding fuel and certain special items, such as merger-related costs, is one of the most important measures used by management and by the Air Group Board of Directors in assessing quarterly and annual cost performance.
  • Adjusted income before income tax and CASM excluding fuel (and other items as specified in our plan documents) are important metrics for the employee incentive plan, which covers the majority of Air Group employees.
  • CASM excluding fuel and certain special items is a measure commonly used by industry analysts, and we believe it is the basis by which they compare our airlines to others in the industry. The measure is also the subject of frequent questions from investors.
  • Disclosure of the individual impact of certain noted items provides investors the ability to measure and monitor performance both with and without these special items. We believe that disclosing the impact of certain items, such as merger-related costs and mark-to-market hedging adjustments, is important because it provides information on significant items that are not necessarily indicative of future performance. Industry analysts and investors consistently measure our performance without these items for better comparability between periods and among other airlines.
  • Although we disclose our passenger unit revenues, we do not (nor are we able to) evaluate unit revenues excluding the impact that changes in fuel costs have had on ticket prices. Fuel expense represents a large percentage of our total operating expenses. Fluctuations in fuel prices often drive changes in unit revenues in the mid-to-long term. Although we believe it is useful to evaluate non-fuel unit costs for the reasons noted above, we would caution readers of these financial statements not to place undue reliance on unit costs excluding fuel as a measure or predictor of future profitability because of the significant impact of fuel costs on our business.

 

GLOSSARY OF TERMS

Aircraft Utilization – block hours per day; this represents the average number of hours per day our aircraft are in transit

Aircraft Stage Length – represents the average miles flown per aircraft departure

ASMs – available seat miles, or “capacity”; represents total seats available across the fleet multiplied by the number of miles flown

CASM – operating costs per ASM, or “unit cost”; represents all operating expenses including fuel and special items

CASMex – operating costs excluding fuel and special items per ASM; this metric is used to help track progress toward reduction of non-fuel operating costs since fuel is largely out of our control

Debt-to-capitalization ratio – represents adjusted debt (long-term debt plus the present value of future operating lease payments) divided by total equity plus adjusted debt

Diluted Earnings per Share – represents earnings per share (EPS) using fully diluted shares outstanding

Diluted Shares – represents the total number of shares that would be outstanding if all possible sources of conversion, such as stock options, were exercised

Economic Fuel – best estimate of the cash cost of fuel, net of the impact of our fuel-hedging program

Free Cash Flow – total operating cash flow generated less cash paid for capital expenditures

Load Factor – RPMs as a percentage of ASMs; represents the number of available seats that were filled with paying passengers

Mainline – represents flying Boeing 737 and Airbus 320 family jets and all associated revenues and costs

Productivity – number of revenue passengers per full-time equivalent employee

RASM – operating revenue per ASMs, or “unit revenue”; operating revenue includes all passenger revenue, freight & mail, Mileage Plan and other ancillary revenue; represents the average total revenue for flying one seat one mile

Regional – represents capacity purchased by Alaska from Horizon, SkyWest and PenAir. In this segment, Regional records actual on-board passenger revenue, less costs such as fuel, distribution costs, and payments made to Horizon, SkyWest and PenAir under the respective capacity purchased arrangement (CPAs). Additionally, Regional includes an allocation of corporate overhead such as IT, finance, other administrative costs incurred by Alaska and on behalf of Horizon.

RPMs – revenue passenger miles, or “traffic”; represents the number of seats that were filled with paying passengers; one passenger traveling one mile is one RPM

Yield – passenger revenue per RPM; represents the average revenue for flying one passenger one mile

Copyright Photo: Alaska Airlines Boeing 737-900 ER WL N283AK (msn 36358) PAE (Nick Dean). Image: 940240.

Alaska Airlines aircraft slide show (Boeing):

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Southwest to add more service at New York LaGuardia and Washington Reagan National following a slot agreement with Alaska

Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-8 MAX 8 N8712L (msn 36930) FLL (Andy Cripps). Image: 941462.

Alaska Airlines Group has received approval from the Department of Justice (DOT) for an agreement with Southwest Airlines. Southwest will lease 12 “within perimeter slots” at New York LaGuardia Airport (LGA) and and eight “within perimeter” slots at Washington Reagan National Airport (DCA).

The lease, which commences in October 2018, will enable Alaska Airlines to monetize the valuable slots, while Alaska reallocates its flying from DCA and LGA to Dallas Love Field, to more strategic and profitable opportunities on the West Coast.

This slot lease runs through 2028, at which point Alaska will have the right to reassume flying using these valuable slots from LGA and DCA.

This new agreement will allow Southwest Airlines to expand operations at both LGA and DCA.

Copyright Photo: Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-8 MAX 8 N8712L (msn 36930) FLL (Andy Cripps). Image: 941462.

Southwest Airlines aircraft slide show:

Alaska Air Group reports first quarter 2018 results

Alaska Airlines Boeing 737-990 ER SSWL N265AK (msn 62682) (Honoring Those Who Serve) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 941100.

Alaska Airlines Group has made this announcement:

Financial Highlights:

  • Reported net income for the first quarter under Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) of $4 million, or $0.03 per diluted share, compared to net income of $93 million, or $0.75 per diluted share in the first quarter of 2017. As the company has recently implemented new accounting standards, including the standards relating to revenue recognition and retirement benefits, 2017 financial information has been adjusted.
  • Reported first quarter 2018 adjusted diluted earnings per share of $0.14 compared to $0.99reported in the first quarter of 2017. First quarter adjusted net income excluding special items such as merger-related costs, an employee bonus awarded in connection with the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, and mark-to-market fuel hedge accounting adjustments was $18 million, compared to $124 million in the first quarter of 2017. This quarter’s adjusted results compare to the First Call analyst consensus estimate of $0.12 per share.
  • Paid a $0.32 per-share quarterly cash dividend in the first quarter, a 7% increase over the dividend paid in the first quarter of 2017.
  • Repurchased a total of 185,661 shares of common stock for approximately $12 million in the first three months of 2018.
  • Generated approximately $310 million of operating cash flow and used approximately $235 millionfor capital expenditures, resulting in approximately $75 million of free cash flow for the first three months of 2018.
  • Held $1.5 billion in unrestricted cash and marketable securities as of March 31, 2018.

Operational Highlights:

  • Obtained a single operating certificate (SOC) from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for Alaska Airlines and Virgin America, our most significant integration milestone to date. The SOC recognizes Alaska and Virgin America as one airline.
  • Reached an agreement in early April 2018 with mainline flight attendants that includes a merger transition plan and a two-year extension from December 2019 to December 2021. The agreement provides pay increases and paves the way to fully align nearly 5,700 mainline flight attendants under a single agreement.
  • Expanded our codeshare partnerships with Japan Airlines, Fiji Airways, Cathay Pacific and Finnair.
  • Began installation of next-generation Gogo satellite-based Wi-Fi in the first quarter of 2018, which will provide guests a faster internet connection across the Boeing and Airbus fleets.
  • Added one Boeing 737-900ER aircraft and two Airbus A321neo aircraft to the mainline operating fleet in the first quarter of 2018. Added one Embraer 175 (E175) regional jet to Horizon Air’s fleet in the first quarter of 2018 and added two E175 aircraft operated by SkyWest Airlines.

Alaska Air Group, Inc., on April 23, 2018 reported first quarter 2018 GAAP net income of $4 million, or $0.03 per diluted share, compared to $93 million, or $0.75 per diluted share in the first quarter of 2017. Excluding the impact of certain noted items, the company reported adjusted net income of $18 million, or $0.14 per diluted share, compared to $124 million, or $0.99 per diluted share, in 2017.

 

Copyright Photo: Alaska Airlines Boeing 737-990 ER SSWL N265AK (msn 62682) (Honoring Those Who Serve) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 941100.

 

Alaska Airlines aircraft slide show (current livery):

Alaska Airlines, Virgin America and Horizon Air employees receive $148 million in bonuses

Alaska Airlines' "More to Love" merger livery

Alaska Air Group issued this statement on January 26, 2018:

Employees of Alaska Air Group companies Alaska Airlines, Virgin America and Horizon Air are receiving $118 million in incentive bonuses today. For most employees, this equates to an average of more than 7 percent of their annual pay in 2017. In addition, 23,000 Air Group employees will receive a one-time $1,000 bonus on Jan. 29 from additional tax savings the company expects to receive this year.

The company’s annual bonus, called Performance Based Pay (PBP), is determined by meeting or exceeding specific company-wide goals for safety, customer satisfaction, cost control, customer loyalty and profit. For the ninth year in a row, employees will enjoy a payout of about an additional month’s pay.

The PBP bonus is in addition to the approximately $7 million in monthly operational bonuses that employees earned over 2017 for achieving monthly on-time and customer satisfaction goals. The combined monthly, annual and one-time bonuses paid to employees total $148 million.

Geographic breakdown:

  • About $62 million in annual bonuses — more than 52 percent of the total — is being paid to Alaska, Virgin America, and Horizon Air employees in the Puget Sound area
  • $27 million — or 23 percent of the total — is going to employees throughout California
  • $12 million is being paid to employees in the Oregon
  • $8.1 million is going to employees throughout the state of Alaska

The bonuses come 13 months after the acquisition of Virgin America. Since then, Alaska Airlines and Virgin America employees have been hard at work creating an airline people love. Some of the most significant integration milestones employees have accomplished since December 2016 include:

  • Obtaining a single operating certificate from the FAA on Jan. 11, combining thousands of procedures, manuals and training for all Airbus and Boeing operations
  • Launching a wear-test for new employee uniforms
  • Transitioning to one loyalty and credit card program
  • Co-locating Alaska and Virgin American operations in 22 of 31 airports
  • Building Alaska’s expansive network with 44 new routes, in addition to the 38 routes added with the acquisition of Virgin America
  • Moving to the same human resources, finance and payroll systems

By late April, Minicucci expects the airlines will have accomplished 75 percent of the integration milestones with the shift to a single reservation system, website, check-in kiosk, app and call center.

Copyright Photo (all others by Alaska Airlines): Alaska Airlines (Alaska + Virgin America) Boeing 737-990 ER SSWL N493AS (msn 41727) (More to Love) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 936924.

Alaska Airlines aircraft slide show:

Alaska Air Group reports fourth quarter and 2017 results

Alaska Airlines Airbus A320-214 N625VA (msn 2800) VCV (Derin Allard). Image: 940790.

Alaska Airlines Group issued this financial report for the 4Q and 2017:

Dividend Increase:

  • Announced today a 7% increase in the quarterly dividend from $0.30 per share to $0.32 per share. The dividend will be paid on March 8, to all shareholders of record as of Feb. 20, 2018. This is the fifth time the company has raised the dividend since initiating the quarterly dividend in July 2013, with a cumulative increase of 220% since that time.

Financial Highlights:

  • Reported net income for the fourth quarter and full-year under Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (“GAAP”) of $367 million, or $2.97 per diluted share, and $1.0 billion, or $8.30 per diluted share. These results compare to fourth quarter 2016 net income of $114 million, or $0.92per diluted share, and full-year 2016 net income of $814 million, or $6.54 per diluted share. As the acquisition of Virgin America Inc. (Virgin America) closed on Dec. 14, 2016, 2017 information reflects the results of Virgin America. 2016 information reflects the results of Virgin America from Dec. 14-31, 2016.
  • Reported fourth quarter 2017 adjusted diluted earnings per share of $0.83 compared to $1.56reported in the fourth quarter of 2016. Fourth quarter adjusted net income, excluding merger-related costs, special income tax benefits related to tax law changes, and mark-to-market fuel hedging adjustments, was $103 million compared to $193 million in the fourth quarter of 2016. This quarter’s adjusted results compare to the First Call analyst consensus estimate of $0.82 per share.
  • Reported full year 2017 adjusted net income, excluding merger-related costs, the special income tax benefit, and mark-to-market fuel hedging adjustments, of $823 million, compared to $911 million in 2016. Reported 2017 adjusted diluted earnings per share of $6.64, compared to $7.32in 2016.
  • Paid a $0.30 per-share quarterly cash dividend in the fourth quarter, bringing total dividend payments in 2017 to $148 million.
  • Repurchased a total of 981,277 shares of common stock for approximately $75 million in 2017.
  • Generated approximately $1.6 billion of operating cash flow and used approximately $1.0 billionfor capital expenditures, resulting in approximately $547 million of free cash flow in 2017.
  • Grew passenger revenues by 32% compared to the fourth quarter of 2016, and by 36% compared to full-year 2016, largely enabled by our acquisition of Virgin America in December of 2016.
  • Generated full-year adjusted pretax margin of 17% in 2017.
  • Held $1.6 billion in unrestricted cash and marketable securities as of Dec. 31, 2017.
  • Reduced debt-to-capitalization ratio to 51% as of Dec. 31, 2017, compared to 59% as of Dec. 31, 2016.

2017 Accomplishments and Highlights:

Recognition and Awards – Alaska

  • Ranked “Highest in Customer Satisfaction Among Traditional Carriers” in 2017 by J.D. Power for the tenth year in a row.
  • Ranked first in the U.S. News & World Report’s list of Best Travel Rewards Programs for the third consecutive year.
  • Won the “Best Rewards Program” for Alaska Mileage Plan for carriers in the “Americas” region in the sixth annual FlyerTalk Award.
  • Mileage Plan ranked Best Airline Elite Status Program in the U.S. by The Points Guy.
  • Ranked among Forbes’ 2017 “America’s Best Employers” for the third year in a row.
  • Received 16th Diamond Award of Excellence from the Federal Aviation Administration, recognizing both Alaska and Horizon’s aircraft technicians for their commitment to training.
  • Ranked by AirlineRatings.com as one of only two U.S. airlines in the Top 20 safest airlines in the world.
  • Rated “Best Airline Staff in North America” and “Best Regional Airline in North America” by Skytrax World Airline Awards.
  • Awarded TripAdvisor’s 2017 Travelers’ Choice Award for second-best midsize and low-cost airlines in North America and one of the top 10 best airlines in the world.
  • Recognized by the Puget Sound Business Journal as the 2017 Board Diversity Champion, as well as by the Women Corporate Directors Global Institute for diversity among our Directors.
  • Ranked as the top U.S. airline in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI), receiving perfect scores for “efficiency” and “reliability.”
  • Recognized as No. 1 in fuel efficiency for U.S. airlines by the International Council on Clean Transportation for the 7th consecutive year.
  • Named one of the overall five-star major regional airlines at the Passenger Choice Awards during the APEX EXPO.
  • Ranked fifth of most engaged companies in the U.S. by Forbes Insights, which measured social media engagement, net promoter scores, and year-over-year sales growth.

Recognition and Awards – Virgin America

  • Rated Best U.S. Airline by Conde Nast Traveler in their “Annual Readers’ Choice Awards” for the tenth year in a row.
  • Rated Best Domestic Airline in Travel + Leisure “World’s Best Awards” for the tenth year in a row.
  • Received a five-star rating for low-cost carrier, and received a top honor with a Passenger Choice Award for “Best Seat Comfort” during the APEX EXPO.

Our People

  • Awarded $135 million in incentive pay to employees for 2017.
  • Awarded employees a $1,000 bonus in January 2018 in connection with the passing of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, amounting to approximately $25 million to be paid on Jan. 29, 2018.
  • Granted “Single Carrier Determination” by the National Mediation Board (“NMB”) for Alaska Airlines and Virgin America, paving the way for labor integration and union representation. The NMB officially certified the Association of Flight Attendants as the union representative for Virgin America inflight teammates and the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers as the union representative for Virgin America clerical, office and passenger service employees.
  • Entered into an agreement with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters to amend the eight-year contract with Horizon’s pilots, providing Horizon the ability to attract and retain the best pilots in the regional industry.
  • Alaska received a perfect score of 100% for workplace equality on the 2018 Corporate Equality Index (“CEI”). Virgin America received a score of 95%.

Our Guests and Product

  • Launched various new in-flight amenities, including Free Chat, upgraded food and beverage options and Premium Class service.
  • Selected Gogo to provide next-generation satellite-based Wi-Fi across the entire Boeing and Airbus fleets, providing guests a faster and more-reliable internet connection.
  • Dropped fees for bikes, golf clubs, skis, surfboards, and other sporting equipment that exceed Alaska’s normal checked baggage weight and dimensions to $25.
  • Added Condor Airlines, Finnair, and Singapore Airlines as global Mileage Plan partners.
  • Announced plans to fly 13 daily departures from Paine Field-Snohomish County Airport in Everett, Washington to eight West Coast markets starting in fall 2018.
  • Announced a seven-year partnership to be the official airline of the San Francisco Giants which includes, among other things, exclusive naming rights to the AT&T Park Club Level which will now be called the “Alaska Airlines Club Level.”

  • Signed an exclusive multi-year partnership with Golden State Warriors star Kevin Durant naming him “Advisor to the CEO,” and extended our partnership with Russell Wilson and Ciara.
  • Converted the world’s first Boeing 737-700 from a passenger plane to a freighter and placed it into revenue service.
  • Added 14 Boeing 737-900ER aircraft and 4 Airbus A321neo aircraft to the operating fleet in 2017, bringing the total Mainline fleet to 221 aircraft.
  • Added 10 Embraer 175 (E175) regional jets to Horizon Air’s fleet in 2017.
  • Added 44 new markets in 2017 across the Alaska Air Group and Virgin America networks.

Our Communities

  • Donated over $14 million and contributed more than 32,000 volunteer hours to support nonprofits in our local communities, focusing on youth and education, medical (research/transportation) and community outreach.

Alaska Air Group Inc. reported fourth quarter 2017 GAAP net income of $367 million, or $2.97 per diluted share, compared to $114 million, or $0.92 per diluted share in 2016. Excluding the impact of merger-related costs, the special income tax benefit, and mark-to-market fuel hedge adjustments, the company reported fourth quarter adjusted net income of $103 million, or $0.83 per diluted share, compared to adjusted net income of $193 million, or $1.56 per diluted share in the fourth quarter of 2016.

The company reported full-year 2017 GAAP net income of $1,028 million, compared to $814 million in the prior year. Excluding the impact of merger-related costs, the special income tax benefit, and mark-to-market fuel hedge adjustments, the company reported adjusted net income of $823 million, or $6.64 per diluted share for 2017, compared to adjusted net income of $911 million, or $7.32 per diluted share in 2016.

“2017 was a great year – we invested in our route network, our fleet, our product, and laid the foundation for our future,” said Brad Tilden, Alaska’s CEO. “We added 44 new routes to our network (in addition to the 38 added through Virgin America), grew membership in our loyalty program, and made great progress on our integration of Virgin America. By early spring, we’ll have the bulk of the integration behind us, and working with our people to do more of what Alaska does best – running a highly reliable operation and offering our guests outstanding customer service.”

Copyright Photo: The first ex-Virgin America Airbus A320 has been repainted at Victorville. After this photo was taken, it was flown to San Francisco to enter revenue service from SFO. Alaska Airlines Airbus A320-214 N625VA (msn 2800) VCV (Derin Allard). Image: 940790.

 

Alaska Airlines aircraft slide show (current livery):

Alaska Air Group reports Third Quarter 2017 results

"Chace Plane"

Alaska Air Group, Inc., on October 25, 2017 reported third quarter 2017 GAAP net income of $266 million, or $2.14 per diluted share, compared to $256 million, or $2.07 per diluted share in the third quarter of 2016. Excluding the impact of merger-related costs and mark-to-market fuel hedge adjustments, the company reported adjusted net income of $278 million, or $2.24 per diluted share, compared to $272 million, or $2.20 per diluted share, in 2016.

“Our people delivered very strong results again this quarter,” said CEO Brad Tilden. “At roughly the halfway point in our integration with Virgin America, and despite some unrelated challenges in our regional operation, our business is performing well, and we are very happy with the response we’ve seen in California and throughout the West to our expanding network, our focus on hospitality, and to our industry-leading mileage plan. I want to thank our talented people for their commitment and dedication.”

Copyright Photo: Virgin America aircraft will shortly be taking on the Alaska brand. Virgin America Airbus A320-214 WL N283VA (msn 6787) JFK (Fred Freketic). Image: 935544.

Virgin America:

Alaska Air Group announces the closing of the acquisition of Virgin America, no decision on the Virgin America brand

different-works

Alaska Air Group Inc. on December 14, 2016 announced it has closed its acquisition of Virgin America. The definitive merger agreement, which was signed in April and approved by Virgin America shareholders in July, brings together two of the country’s favorite airlines into a unified force that will provide an attractive alternative to the “Big 4” airlines that currently control 84 percent of the domestic market.

Alaska Airlines and Virgin America will spend the next year working to secure Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certification to allow the two airlines to operate as a single carrier (with regional sister carrier Horizon Air remaining on its own separate operating certificate).

Today, Alaska Air Group boasts nearly 1,200 daily flights to 118 destinations, the most seats on flights from the West Coast and more than $7 billion annual revenues. Alaska Air Group will continue to provide customers the low fares, unmatched reliability and award-winning service they’ve come to enjoy, while offering a convenient schedule of flights to even more of the places they want to fly. Soon Virgin America customers will have access to a route network that offers six times more daily flights than before.

The combination expands service and provides more frequent connections to international airline partners in thriving technology markets in the Bay Area, Los Angeles and Seattle/Tacoma.

Together, the airlines offer 289 daily flights to 52 destinations from California, including 113 daily nonstop flights to 32 destinations from three Bay Area airports and 105 daily nonstop flights to 37 destinations from four Los Angeles area airports.

In addition, the combination opens up growth opportunities in important East Coast business markets by increasing Alaska Air Group’s access to high-demand airports like Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and the three primary New York City-area airports: John F. Kennedy International Airport, LaGuardia Airport and Newark Liberty International Airport.

The company also announced new flights from its San Francisco hub to Orlando (daily), Minneapolis/St. Paul (twice daily) and Orange County, California (four times daily) beginning in the summer of 2017.

The combination expands service and provides more frequent connections to international airline partners in thriving technology markets in the Bay Area, Los Angeles and Seattle. Together, the airlines offer 289 daily flights to 52 destinations from California, including 113 daily nonstop flights to 32 destinations from three Bay Area airports and 105 daily nonstop flights to 37 destinations from four Los Angeles area airports.

In addition, the combination opens up growth opportunities in important East Coast business markets by increasing Alaska Air Group’s access to high-demand airports like Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and the three primary New York City-area airports: John F. Kennedy International Airport, LaGuardia Airport and Newark Liberty International Airport.

The company also announced new flights from its San Francisco hub to Orlando (daily), Minneapolis (twice daily) and Orange County, California (four times daily) beginning in the summer of 2017.

To celebrate the merger of two beloved West Coast airlines, Alaska leaders will join employees from Virgin America, Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air on December 14, 2016 at San Francisco International Airport for the unveiling of a co-branded Boeing 737 featuring a special, one-time livery painted in shimmering red, purple and blue. The aircraft features the slogan “More to love” and will fly throughout Alaska Airlines’ route network starting the same day, in celebration of the increased customer benefits of the combination.

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