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February 21, 2024

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Sunday’s announcement that Alaska Airlines Group is to acquire Hawaiian Airlines for $1.9 billion including debt and develop Honolulu into a strategic hub caught many by surprise. What will the two airlines, both with a long legacy and rich history, have in mind to establish themselves as the fifth largest carrier in the US? Let’s check out what Alaska and Hawaiian said about the rationale during Sunday’s webcast.

Comparing airlines

What are we talking about here? Alaska Airlines is about four to five times as big as Hawaiian on all metrics. Revenues for a 12-month period ending September 30, 2023, were $10.4 billion for Alaska and $2.8 billion for Hawaiian. The former carried 43.8 million passengers until August 31, the latter 10.9 million. Daily departures compare 1.100 to 240. Alaska has around 23.900 employees, Hawaiian 7.360. Lastly, the fleet, which we come to talk about later, compares 303 to 62.