Alaska Air completes Virgin America acquisition

Alaska Air Group Inc. (NYSE: ALK) has closed its acquisition of Virgin America (NASDAQ: VA), initially signed in April and approved by Virgin America shareholders in July, the company said.

The company said the merger brings the two airlines into a unified force providing an alternative to the Big 4 airlines that currently control 84 percent of the domestic market. Alaska Airlines and Virgin America expect to 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).

Alaska Air Group offers nearly 1,200 daily flights to 118 destinations, and has more than USD7.0 billion annual revenues.