After some brief speculation, it was announced this morning that Alaskan Airlines' parent organization bought Virgin America for $2.6 billion in cash. This acquisition will bolster Alaskan's presence on the West Coast and particularly in California. Virgin's chairman Richard Branson wrote about the brand's history and his thoughts on the future.
It's expected this deal won't experience regulatory hurdles that faced the American Airlines and US Airways deal because their market shares are much less. Given the geographic idiosyncrasies of airline mergers, it will be interesting to see how this deal plays out. What will be the implication for consumers? Initial impressions have been kind of negative.