Alaska’s $2.6 billion takeover of Virgin America was first announced in April, with the goal of closing the deal this year. As time progressed, a target date of October 17, 2016, was set for the deal to close. Unfortunately that deadline wasn’t met, though Alaska’s management continues to insist that they’re making “good progress” towards the deal closing.
We learned that the reason for the delay was that the Department of Justice was worried that there wasn’t enough competition left between US carriers (JoJo’s song “Too Little Too Late” comes to mind), and that they wanted Alaska to make some concessions. Specifically, it seems that the DOJ wants Alaska to cut their codesharing ties with American and/or Delta.
Arguably Alaska already significantly overpaid in this deal, and them having to cut ties with American and/or Delta could make this takeover even more costly. Alaska’s management continues to insist that the deal isn’t at risk, though I have to imagine that Alaska is even less happy about this deal than they were before.
Anyway, a picture has leaked of a “secret” Alaska 737-900, with tail number N493AS, sitting in a hangar at SeaTac Airport. This plane is sporting a special Alaska & Virgin America livery, with “More To Love” written along the side of the plane.
I wonder whether the interior matches the exterior, with half of the plane having nice first class seats, mood lighting, and personal televisions, and the other half of the plane looking like a Greyhound bus, just to be authentic. 😉
— AirlineGeeks (@AirlineGeeks) November 4, 2016
Apparently Alaska had the plane ready to go for the day the deal was expected to close, so that they could immediately have it in service to celebrate the two companies becoming one. Well, now it has been sitting in the hangar for three weeks and counting. That can’t be cheap for a brand new 737-900…
The more days that pass since Alaska’s target close date, the more skeptical I am that this deal will actually go through…
What do you make of the special Alaska & Virgin America livery?