Alaska Air closes in on Virgin America deal

Image: Alaska Airlines jet
A smiling Eskimo graces the tail of an Alaska Airlines jet. (Credit: Alaska Air)

Seattle-based Alaska Air Group is close to a $2 billion deal to purchase Virgin America, beating out a rival bid from Jet Blue Airways, The Wall Street Journal reported April 2.

The Journal’s report was based on information from unnamed sources said to be familiar with the matter. Those sources stressed that there was no guarantee Alaska would clinch the deal. An announcement could come as early as April 4, they told the Journal.

U.S.-based Virgin America is separate from Virgin Atlantic, a larger airline owned by British billionaire Richard Branson’s Virgin Group. Branson’s holding company owns less than 25 percent of Virgin America, in accordance with federal law. Cyrus Aviation Holdings is the largest investor with about 28 percent of the voting stock.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributor to GeekWire and Universe Today, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," past president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing.

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