Alaska Air has announced it will be acquiring Virgin America for $2.6 billion. The deal has to be approved by Virgin America shareholders and regulators, but the deal is expected to finish by the beginning of 2017, according to Alaska Air.
The acquisition would expand Alaska Air’s access to the east coast at major airports like Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, and both New York’s JFK and LaGuardia airports. When the two companies are combined, the airline is expected to have 1,200 daily departures and just shy of 300 planes.
News of the sale boosted Virgin America’s stock price by 41% while Alaska Air’s stock dropped nearly 6%. Jet Blue, which had also been reportedly bidding for Virgin America, had their stock fall 3% as well.