Alaska nears $2B bid for Virgin America

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Old Apr 2, 16, 4:22 pm
  #16  
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wow this is really interesting - is AS cool enough for Virgin?

As a SAN flyer I don't see much other than X: SFO connections over X:SEA so as long as my SAN-BOS is safe I'm happy.
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Old Apr 2, 16, 4:24 pm
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Originally Posted by Madone59 View Post
wow this is really interesting - is AS cool enough for Virgin?
AS has the cool stash of cash. It's plenty cool.
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Old Apr 2, 16, 4:39 pm
  #18  
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Many of us in the SF Bay Area have a Anyone But United mindset for the past few years. AS knows this. It gives them instant access to our East/West flying. It gives them instant access to half of one of the nicest domestic terminals in the USA. It gives them instant access to high value flyers who are paying F to fly transcon.

While I hate my two preferred airlines to become one, if it is to be, it won't be life's greatest disappointment.
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Old Apr 2, 16, 4:59 pm
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NYT article on merger

http://mobile.nytimes.com/2016/04/03/business/dealbook/alaska-airlines-said-to-be-near-2-billion-deal-for-virgin-america.html?_r=0
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Old Apr 2, 16, 5:03 pm
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If this goes through, I hope AS chooses to operate VX as a subsidiary rather than merging its operations under the Alaska brand. I could see the Alaska Air Group portfolio as follows: Virgin America as the boutique airline for high yield, medium to long haul routes, Horizon Air maintaining its current role as the regional carrier, and then Alaska Airlines continuing to operate its mid con routes, West Coast flights, flights to/from Alaska, as well as longer haul "leisure market" flights like Mexico and Hawaii. The VX brand has a lot of appeal and customer goodwill in the SFO, LAX and NYC markets, and I think that AS doesn't want to the customers that choose VX for its unique flying experience to defect to B6 or DL. Furthermore, redeploying some of the VX fleet to longer haul flying could help AS better compete with DL for high yield customers.

One scenario that makes sense to me would be for AS to operate the VX fleet "as is," possibly shedding a few planes as leases expire, but redeploying aircraft from short haul routes to midcon and transcon flying (which might also entail adding a crew base in SEA). In other words, the VX planes flying SEA-LAX, SFO-LAX/SAN etc. could be used to fly SEA-EWR, BOS, JFK, DCA etc. And then the AS E175s and 737s could handle some of the VX intra-CA service. There isn't much point in flying planes with all the bells and whistles VX features on short flights anyway (who needs 55" pitch in F on a 1 hr flight?).

Last edited by sltlyamusd; Apr 2, 16 at 5:30 pm
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Old Apr 2, 16, 5:06 pm
  #21  
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Oh the irony...AS going back to T3 @ LAX
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Old Apr 2, 16, 5:45 pm
  #22  
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If a merger is agreed to (and I hope it isn't), the government will certainly impose conditions.
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Old Apr 2, 16, 5:52 pm
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Originally Posted by dayone View Post
If a merger is agreed to (and I hope it isn't), the government will certainly impose conditions.
AS and VX have very little network overlap - only 6 routes. I find it hard to believe that there will be much regulatory concern after the megamergers that have already gone through with limited restriction.
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Old Apr 2, 16, 6:10 pm
  #24  
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Originally Posted by PVDtoDEL View Post
AS and VX have very little network overlap - only 6 routes. I find it hard to believe that there will be much regulatory concern after the megamergers that have already gone through with limited restriction.
The horizontal merger criteria at the DOJ for airlines look for route overlap defined as non-stop service between city pairs, and specifically where the merger partners are the only carriers offering non-stops. I suspect that takes things from six routes to zero of concern.

VX's footprint at SEA - seven departures yesterday - is much too small to be of concern regarding SEA facilities. Seven is rounding error in an airport the size of SEA.
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Old Apr 2, 16, 6:11 pm
  #25  
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Originally Posted by PVDtoDEL View Post
I find it hard to believe that there will be much regulatory concern
I'll bet you a dollar.

Originally Posted by PVDtoDEL View Post
after the megamergers that have already gone through with limited restriction.
That's one of the reasons why this one will also have conditions, as AA/US did.
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Old Apr 2, 16, 6:15 pm
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Originally Posted by dayone View Post
If a merger is agreed to (and I hope it isn't), the government will certainly impose conditions.
I don't see any need for restrictions. Combined, they still have a small share of slots at DCA and the NYC airports. The two gates at DAL will either be sold because AS wants to stay with DFW and connect with AA or become more utilized. Other than that, VX and AS have very little in the way of assets that will be flagged as anti-competitive.
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Old Apr 2, 16, 6:31 pm
  #27  
 
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It looks like the only two airports that will be "new" to AS are LGA (which gives them flights to all 3 NY area airports) and DAL (which I fully expect to be sold...probably to WN).
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Old Apr 2, 16, 6:35 pm
  #28  
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Originally Posted by dayone View Post
I'll bet you a dollar.



That's one of the reasons why this one will also have conditions, as AA/US did.
Different airlines and different circumstances. The conditions on AA/US were not "imposed", they were negotiated after the DOJ sued to block the merger. There's lots of case law regarding mergers and anti-trust law involving market concentration and overlap. You can't just ignore that case history and precedents. A merged AS/VX would still be a relative pipsqueak compared to AA/UA/DL/WN. The AA merger made it largest US airline by scheduled passenger miles. The DOJ can't just sue because "there's been too many mergers!" without looking at the specific circumstances and presenting actual rational arguments. They'd get laughed out of court and AS knows it.
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Old Apr 2, 16, 6:47 pm
  #29  
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Originally Posted by LBJ View Post
Different airlines and different circumstances. The conditions on AA/US were not "imposed", they were negotiated after the DOJ sued to block the merger. There's lots of case law regarding mergers and anti-trust law involving market concentration and overlap. You can't just ignore that case history and precedents. A merged AS/VX would still be a relative pipsqueak compared to AA/UA/DL/WN. The AA merger made it largest US airline by scheduled passenger miles. The DOJ can't just sue because "there's been too many mergers!" without looking at the specific circumstances and presenting actual rational arguments. They'd get laughed out of court and AS knows it.
Impose was a poor word choice. How about "strongly suggest"?

Suing is the last resort. The government will ask for conditions and AS will negotiate . Also, each merger makes the next merger more difficult. That's how it works.
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Old Apr 2, 16, 6:51 pm
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Originally Posted by Eastbay1K View Post
Many of us in the SF Bay Area have a Anyone But United mindset for the past few years.
Isn't this the attitude held by all business travelers who don't hail from ORD or EWR? I have colleagues who are UA Global Services, but that doesn't make their flights arrive/depart on time...
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