It was announced on Sunday, following a media leak, that Alaska Airlines has agreed to buy Hawaiian Airlines in a $1.9bn deal.
Alaska Airlines is a member of the oneworld airline alliance, alongside British Airways. You can already earn and spend Avios on Alaska Airlines flights, and once the deal completes you will also be able to earn and spend Avios on Hawaiian Airlines.
Whether the deal can get through the competition authorities in the United States is a different question.
The JetBlue / Spirit merger is facing substantial problems, but Alaska and Hawaiian only overlap on 3% of their routes.
Put simply, Alaska tends to fly from West Coast cities to Hawaii whilst Hawaiian uses larger aircraft to serve cities as distant as Boston. The key issue, of course, will be the dominance of the combined airlines on flights to and from Hawaii.
What do we know about the Alaska / Hawaiian merger?
The two airlines have launched a dedicated website to promote the merits of the deal.
Here are the key things to know:
- Alaska Airlines is acquiring Hawaiian Airlines for $1.9bn, including existing debt, in an ‘all cash’ deal
- it is an agreed deal, not a hostile bid
- both brands will be retained
- the two airlines will have a joint loyalty programme
- despite retaining the Hawaiian brand, the airline will be a oneworld alliance member as a subsidiary of Alaska and you will be able to earn and redeem Avios on Hawaiian flights
- the two airlines will have a single back-end operating platform
- the deal will generate $235m in annual synergies
- Alaska is currently the 5th largest US airline and this will not change (Alaska will drop to 6th if the JetBlue / Spirit merger completes)
- the combined airlines will have a fleet of 365 aircraft and will serve 55 million passengers annually
- the combined airlines will serve 138 destinations
The acquisition is expected to take 12-18 months to complete due to the regulatory approvals required, so don’t start planning a trip just yet.
Of course, you can already redeem Avios to Hawaii on the existing Alaska Airlines and American Airlines services.
The bad news is that the existing partnership between Virgin Atlantic and Hawaiian Airlines is likely to come to an end. You can learn more about earning and redeeming Virgin Points for Hawaiian Airlines flights on the Virgin Atlantic website here.
Will the deal get approved? I’m not going to pretend to know. There is little existing route overlap – although some routes are likely to cause issues – but we don’t know how Hawaii itself will feel about one carrier controlling such a large percentage of flights.
You can find out more on this special merger website here.
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (March 2024)
As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards. Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!
In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.
You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:
There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:
You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points. These points convert at 1:1 into Avios.
Run your own business?
We recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,500 Avios.
You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.
There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.
Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.