In early December 2023, Alaska Airlines announced that it has reached an agreement to combine with Hawaiian Airlines, in a deal worth roughly $1.9 billion (USD).
The approval process is expected to take 12–18 months, and in the interim, the airlines will continue to operate as per usual. If the deal is approved, the two will operate under separate brands in the same airline, united by a single loyalty program and operating platform.
Alaska Airlines to Combine with Hawaiian Airlines
Alaska Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines have reached a deal to combine. If approved, the two airlines will exist as two separate brands supported under a single operating platform and loyalty program.
Notably, Alaska Airlines acquired Virgin America in 2016, and this deal would become its second major acquisition in the recent past.
According to data from Cirium, Hawaiian Airlines is the largest carrier from Continental US to Hawaii, while Alaska Airlines is the fourth-largest. Once combined, the airlines would hold 40% of seats on these routes, which is more than twice that of second-largest United Airlines.
Seattle-based Alaska Airlines is presently operating an all-Boeing fleet with an average age of 16 years, and also has 19 Airbus aircraft in storage.
On the other hand, Hawaiian Airlines primarily flies Airbus aircraft, including the A321neo and the A330; however, it also has a number of Boeing 717 aircraft in service, as well as 12 Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft on order. The average age of Hawaiian aircraft is around 10 years.
If the acquisition proceeds, the airlines will have a combined 365 aircraft serving 138 destinations across 29 markets.
Until then, the airlines will operate separately, and updates will be provided as they become available.
New Options to Hawaii and Beyond
With the acquisition of Hawaiian Airlines, Alaska Airlines will establish a hub in Honolulu to complement its existing primary hub in Seattle.
Unlike Alaska Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines serves a handful of long-haul international destinations in Asia and Oceania, as well as major cities in the United States.
On the other hand, Alaska Airlines primarily flies short- and medium-haul routes to destinations across the United States, and also to a smattering of cities in Mexico and Central America.
Aside from combining to offer the lion’s share of seats between the Continental US and Hawaii, the airlines’ existing routes will make for easier connectivity to each other’s destinations, as well as to further flights operated by Oneworld airlines.
At present, Hawaiian Airlines doesn’t operate any flights to Canada, and Alaska Airlines only flies to a few cities in British Columbia and Alberta.
While the two airlines will operate under separate brands, they’ll both be united by a single loyalty program, Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan.
Presently, the only way to meaningfully access Alaska miles in Canada is by converting Marriott Bonvoy points or by dabbling in US credit cards.
However, MBNA has plans to make MBNA Rewards points transferable to Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan in 2024. Once this happens, it’ll be easy for Canadians to access Alaska Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines flights with a positioning flight to the nearest US hub.
Hawaiian Airlines will begin taking delivery of its Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft in early 2024, and the aircraft will be debuted on routes between Hawaii and California, with other routes to come. The new planes will feature Leihōkū business class, complete with lie-flat seats in a 1-2-1 configuration.
Assuming that the flights will eventually be available through Mileage Plan, it looks like one of the best ways to get to Hawaii in style on points. And with Mileage Plan more accessible through MBNA Rewards, it could make for an excellent redemption opportunity to Hawaii and beyond.
Alaska Airlines has announced that it’s reached a deal to acquire Hawaiian Airlines in a deal worth approximately $1.9 billion (USD). The approval process is expected to take 12–18 months, and if finalized, the two airlines will hold around 40% of the seats between the Continental US and Hawaii.
This deal would become Alaska Airlines’s second acquisition in the recent past, after the Seattle-based airline acquired Virgin America in 2016.
The airlines will operate as separate brands united by a single operating system and loyalty program, which will make booking flights with Hawaiian Airlines on points much more accessible.