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Hawaiian lawmakers watching Alaska-Hawaiian airlines merger

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(The Center Square) – Hawaiian lawmakers say they are keeping a close eye on Alaska Airlines’ purchase of Hawaiian Airlines for $1.9 billion.

The deal includes about $900 million of Hawaiian Airlines debt, according to a news release from the companies.

The airlines will retain their brand names but operate on one platform.

“Since 1929, Hawaiian Airlines has been an integral part of life in Hawaii, and together with Alaska Airlines we will be able to deliver more for our guests, employees and the communities that we serve,” said Peter Ingram, president and CEO of Hawaiian Airlines “With the additional scale and resources that this transaction with Alaska Airlines brings, we will be able to accelerate investments in our guest experience and technology, while maintaining the Hawaiian Airlines brand.”

Company officials said the merger would expand the airlines’ fleet to 365 planes flying to 138 destinations. The company will be based in Seattle.

Hawaii Gov. Josh Green said he and Attorney General Anne Lopez will watch the situation closely.

“Both Alaska Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines are very high quality companies, but ultimately, I will be watching to make sure all of our state’s needs are met and all of our workers are cared for,” Green said in a statement on X, the social media site formerly known as Twitter.

U.S. Rep. Ed Case, D-Hawaii, called Alaska Airlines a “promising partner.”

“Its undertakings to continue the Hawaiian brand, employ the over 7,000 Hawai‘i ‘ohana that have served us so well, and sustain reliable, affordable and competitive inter-island and Hawai’i-outside world service are very welcome,” Case said in a statement. “What matters, though, is that there are full, binding and transparent commitments to back up those words. That must be our focus in the upcoming federal and state review and approval processes and community discussions of this major change in our Hawaii fabric.”

Both boards must approve the merger. The deal could take up to 12 to 18 months to close.