July 27, 2016
By: Adam Leposa
Shareholders at Virgin America have voted to approve a merger with Alaska Airlines.
A report reflecting the complete voting results will be available on a Current Report on Form 8-K to be filed later this week by Virgin America, the airline said.
The two airlines had announced an agreement to combine April 4. At the time Alaska Airlines said that the $2.6 billion deal would help it compete more effectively with larger airlines, creating the fifth-largest carrier in the U.S.
Other analysts, however, had questioned the cost savings of the merger, citing a lack of overlapping hubs that the two airlines could close. Others pointed out that the two airlines had different customer experiences and customer bases, which could also make a combination difficult. In an interview with the Associated Press in mid-June, Alaska Airlines CEO Brad Tilden had indicated that he might keep the Virgin America brand, running the two products separately but within the same airline group.
Virgin America has said that the two airlines anticipate they will obtain regulatory approvals and complete the transaction in the fourth quarter of 2016.