Amazingly enough, BusinessWeek ran an article claiming Alaska Air Group is looking to get in on the HP/US merger:
Some pros close to the industry say Alaska Air Holdings (ALK ), which owns Alaska Airlines, may make a bid to buy AWA, without disturbing the proposed merger, leaving Alaska the bigger shareholder in the new merged company. Vincent Carino, president of Brookhaven Capital Management, which owns AWA and Alaska shares, says: "Alaska's top management is considering a move to buy America West to gain critical mass and to better compete in the fiercely competitive industry -- and avoid being a takeover target itself." One major West Coast airline analyst, who didn't want to be named, says it would be "a great deal." Alaska's management "is capable of doing it -- and it should," he says.
Personally I don't buy it - especially since they incorrectly identify ALK as Alaska Air HOLDINGS - but management has been doing some off-the-wall things lately, so who knows?