SAN FRANCISCO — Following the merger agreement that was signed in April and approved by Virgin America shareholders in July, Alaska Air Group Inc. has closed its acquisition of Virgin America, it was announced Dec. 14.
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 offers nearly 1,200 daily flights to 118 destinations and the most seats on flights from the West Coast. 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 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 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. Starting Dec. 19, Mileage Plan members will be able to earn miles on Virgin America flights, and Virgin America Elevate members will be able to earn points on Alaska Airlines flights.
Both airlines’ elite members will receive priority check-in and priority boarding on each other’s flights. Additionally, starting Dec.19, customers will be able to purchase Virgin America tickets at alaskaair.com. Tickets will continue to be available for sale at virginamerica.com for the immediate future.