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Article: Will Alaska Air Stay Independent?

Thu Feb 16, 2012 9:21 pm

I totally agree with this. As I just said in another thread, I think that some mergers, especially one that would involve AS would likely serve to flatter some executive egos and line a few select peoples' pockets but would benefit little else. I believe that much of AS's route structure would be gone so fast if, say, DL bought them. Much of AS's routes wouldn't be in DL's core competency (e.g. BLI-HNL, SJC-LIH, SAN-PVR, etc) and why continue all those non-stops from SEA when you have perfectly good hubs in MSP, SLC and ATL.

So far, AS's board apparently believes this too. I like these three quotes the best from the article.

"Still, mergers are catnip to Wall Street. Even though they have produced, at best, mixed results, they do yield big fees initially for the investment bankers, lawyers and short-term institutional investors."

"For all that, most of the survivors are the walking dead, distracted by melding different cultures, systems and employee groups. And their larger problems — especially Southwest Airlines — haven't been solved. United Continental Holdings is trading around $23. Delta Air Lines is less than $11 — better, I suppose than last summer's $6.41."

"No matter. With American Airlines in bankruptcy reorganization, the merger vultures are circling, especially USAirways, based in suburban Phoenix and a creature of a half-dozen painful, destructive combinations."

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