Alaska Airlines | KUOW News and Information

Alaska Airlines

Alaska Airlines is saying "Adios" to Cuba. The Seattle-based airline Tuesday announced it will discontinue flights to Havana after the holidays. Alaska joins a parade of other U.S. carriers who are trimming back flights to Cuba or dropping service entirely.

Alaska Airlines is still ironing out operational wrinkles following the acquisition of Virgin America last year. At the same time, its smaller, regional airline is still grappling with a pilot shortage.

File photo of Paine Field from August 2009.
Wikipedia Photo/Jelson25 (Public Domain)

Seattle area travelers will have two airport options starting next year. Alaska Airlines says it's bringing commercial flights to Paine Field, bordering Everett and Mukilteo, by fall of 2018. It's the first airline to do so.

Unionized pilots at Alaska Airlines and recently acquired Virgin America pulled off a virtual barrel roll Wednesday to get management's attention. The union complains that talks to combine both pilot groups under what they hope will be a more generous joint contract aren't moving fast enough.

Alaska Airlines executives say the integration of former rival Virgin America is proceeding on track. Parent company Alaska Air Group updated Wall Street analysts on the merger at an "Investor Day" briefing in New York City Wednesday.

Alaska Air Group stock hit a new all-time high in trading Wednesday after a solid earnings report and dividend increase. The parent company of Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air flew 13 percent more passengers in the final quarter of 2016 compared to the same period a year ago.

Alaska Airlines management and workers received a lively, upbeat welcome on their rival’s home turf Wednesday when they flew to San Francisco to celebrate a merger closing. Alaska Air paid $2.6 billion to buy upstart Virgin America.

Now comes the hard work of integration.

The proposed takeover by Alaska Airlines of its West Coast rival Virgin America has cleared its biggest hurdle. The U.S. Justice Department on Tuesday approved the $2.6 billion merger with conditions.

Alaska Airlines CEO Brad Tilden said he remains confident that a proposed takeover of rival Virgin America will happen. But he acknowledged to Wall Street analysts Thursday that he had been hoping the $2.6 billion deal would have closed “a couple of weeks ago.”

Alaska Airlines' proposed takeover of rival Virgin America remains on course pending federal approval expected late this year. That's according to Alaska Air Group CEO Brad Tilden. Tilden told Wall Street analysts Thursday that he's still undecided about whether to keep the Virgin America brand alive after the acquisition goes through.