Alaska Makes Its Case to Investors
Alaska executives met with investment analysts and shared their views on how they might run Hawaiian as a separate brand.
Yesterday, I shared with you my thoughts on Alaska's proposed acquisition of Hawaiian Airlines. Many of you graciously shared your opinions with me via email, and I agree with a lot of you that this is a union worth pursuing for several reasons. Alaska lacks the scale to compete with much larger airlines; Hawaiian is in considerable peril without a merger partner; and, assuming the price1 holds, Alaska would be buying Hawaiian for a fraction of what it might have been worth five or 10 years ago. In business — as in life — timing is everything.
I wrote yesterday’s piece before Alaska and Hawaiian executives met later in the afternoon with analysts to lobby them about why the deal will benefit investors.2 Today, I’ll update you on their arguments so you can understand Alaska’s rationale — why Alaska is choosing to operate two brands under one operating certificate, why loyalty is key to the deal, why Alaska believes analysts are undervaluing Hawaii as a market, and why Alaska may opt for 787s or A330s but perhaps not both. I’ll also recap what I thought was a very candid explanation from Alaska executives about what they believe they got wrong in the Virgin America acquisition.