Tensions Rise, Stock Surges | DOJ Decision on Alaska-Hawaiian Deal Looms

Tensions Rise, Stock Surges | DOJ Decision on Alaska-Hawaiian Deal Looms

As the aviation industry braces for a landmark decision, the tension surrounding the proposed merger between Alaska Air Group and Hawaiian Airlines is palpable. Announced last December, this merger has sparked considerable debate, speculation, and anticipation within the travel sector and among frequent flyers of both airlines. With the Department of Justice (DOJ) expected to deliver its verdict imminently, the stakes have never been higher.

The journey towards acquisition so far.

The merger between Alaska Air Group and Hawaiian Airlines, or perhaps more correctly, acquisition, was positioned as a strategic move to enhance route networks, streamline operations, and offer passengers more options and better service. Since the announcement, both companies have been encumbered by navigating a complex landscape of regulatory scrutiny, shareholder approvals, investor lawsuits, and competitive industry dynamics.

Several significant milestones have marked the journey toward a resolution that should be revealed in the next few weeks. Key among them was the substantial compliance certification with the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) second request earlier this year. However, the path has not been entirely smooth. Legal challenges and heightened scrutiny from various quarters, particularly those concerned about market competition and consumer choice, together with DOJ’s clearly anti-merger bent, have kept the deal hanging in the balance.

Investor sentiment ebbs and flows.

It has been a rollercoaster ride. In recent days, Hawaiian Holdings’ stock experienced gains as investors bet on a favorable outcome from the DOJ. This optimism reflects the broader market belief that the merger could create a more formidable entity capable of competing effectively with larger carriers.

However, this optimism is tempered by caution. The DOJ’s decision remains a critical variable, with potential implications that could either catalyze growth or stymie the merger’s progress. Analysts have pointed out that the DOJ’s approval is not merely a procedural step but a significant determinant of the merger’s future.

Implications for Hawaii travel.

For Hawaii, this merger represents a pivotal moment. The combined airline aims to boost connectivity to and from the islands, potentially lowering costs, depending on your point of view. It could certainly increase convenience for travelers and provide far better services at Hawaiian courtesy of Alaska’s superior airline infrastructure. This could also be a significant boon for Hawaii’s travel industry, which relies heavily on efficient and affordable air travel.

There are also concerns about reduced competition, which is certainly foremost in the minds of the DOJ. Critics argue that the merger could lead to higher fares and fewer choices for consumers, particularly on less profitable routes that might see reduced Hawaii flights.

Previous coverage of this on Beat of Hawaii.

We have closely monitored and reported on this unfolding story. From the initial announcement to shareholder reactions and regulatory hurdles, our articles have provided comprehensive insights:

These articles delve into various aspects of the merger, from the strategic implications to the legal battles and potential impacts on frequent flyers.

The road ahead for Hawaiian Airlines.

The travel industry and visitors watch closely as we await the DOJ’s decision. The outcome will not only shape the future of Hawaii travel, and Hawaiian Airlines and Alaska Airlines, but also set a precedent for airline mergers in an increasingly competitive market.

Stay tuned to get the latest updates as this story unfolds.

Leave a Comment

Comment policy:
* No profanity, rudeness, personal attacks, or bullying.
* Hawaii focused only. General comments won't be published.
* No links or UPPER CASE text. English please.
* No duplicate posts or using multiple names.
* Use a real first name, last initial.
* Comments edited/published/responded to at our discretion.
* Beat of Hawaii has no relationship with our commentors.
* 1,000 character limit.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

9 thoughts on “Tensions Rise, Stock Surges | DOJ Decision on Alaska-Hawaiian Deal Looms”

  1. There’s no logical or mathematical reason this merger shouldn’t happen. The resource synergies and route compliments are a no brainer. Further to that, HA simply (literally) cannot afford for this not to happen. So HA employee’s start to looking beyond today and see what their tomorrow is going to look like. As long as hotels continue to gouge, then travelers will drop and be even more price sensitive. Alaska gets Int’l access and new 787s, HA employees/customers get access to Oneworld Alliance. No brainer.

  2. Hawaiian could help having routes to the west coast that bypass SEA and PDX from like DEN DFW IAH that could become nonstops or reasonable connections…

  3. Had the first opportunity in May to fly HA back to the CONUS in years. Really looked forward to it. Tried their A330 premium econ class for the first time. Totally not impressed with the cabin (dark and dingy), service (almost non existent), seating (narrow and uncomfortable), and food (very soggy hot pocket and water from a jug).

    It appeared to me most of the cabin seats were filled with deadheading HA personnel including, apparently, 1 bigwig who the cabin crew spent most of their time chatting up vs looking after the non HA passengers. I’ll never fly that particular class again in that aircraft. It comes down to this: Alaskan doesn’t need HA. HA badly needs Alaskan. If the merger doesn’t go, then there really WILL be far less competition and flight choices… JMHO

    Best Regards

  4. How is a merger good? If there is only 1 carrier , u either pay or no pay, at least if there is a 2nd choice, there is a possible 2nd choice, and the possibility of a lower fare

    1. Even with the merger, there will still be competition and no real barrier to entry into any market the combine airline would operate in.

      The option other than a merger with Alaska is a trip through bankruptcy court.

      Most likely option
      Ch 11 would lead to a different airline than Hawaiian is now. There would be reduction or elimination of unprofitable flying, lost of employees benefits etc.

      Less likely but possible option
      Ch 7 would lead to the shuttering of Hawaiian airlines all together.

  5. A shame local ownership will end, but I fear if the merger doesn’t happen, and the state government doesn’t bail them out. Hawaiian will be going bankrupt

  6. I’ll help –
    Enhanced Route Network: Combines Alaska’s West Coast routes w/ Hawaiian’s inter-island & Asia-Pacific routes, offering seamless travel & giving Alaska access to new Int’l destinations
    Cost Efficiencies: Generates $235M in annual synergies thru streamlined operations, improving profitability & efficiency
    Improved Service Quality: Enhances Hawaiian’s offerings w/ Alaska’s infrastructure, maintaining competitive fares & premium services
    Access to Oneworld Alliance: Hawaiian customers gain global connectivity & mileage benefits across the Oneworld network
    Job Security & Community Benefits: Retains all union-represented jobs, supporting local economies & boosting tourism & business travel
    Shareholder Value: Expected to be earnings accretive within two years, increasing market share & unlocking new revenue streams
    Strategic Positioning: Competes more effectively w/ major carriers, leveraging complementary strengths for competitive fares & services

    1. You nailed it Matu…well said! I’ll just add that the consensus in the industry seems to be Japan won’t return to pre pandemic levels for another year or possibly a little longer ( depends on the Yen I believe?)
      safe to say HA couldn’t wait that long without a Chapter 11, however it will be a goldmine for AK/ HA……and great for the consumer with the opportunities the merger creates I’m

Scroll to Top