On April 4, 2016, Alaska Air Group, the parent company of Alaska Air- lines, announced an agreement to
purchase San Francisco-based Virgin America
in a $4 billion deal after a public bidding war
with JetBlue Airways. The transaction closed
on Dec. 14, 2016; Alaska Airlines and Virgin
America received a single operating certificate
(SOC) from the Federal Aviation Administration just 13 months later, in mid-January 2018.
Alaska Airlines now operates a combined fleet
of almost 300 aircraft with approximately
1,200 daily departures.
In-house legal departments play significant
roles in merger transactions. For some insight
and perspective from inside the legal department during one of the most significant recent
mergers in the Northwest region, NWLawyer
spoke with Alaska Air Group Vice President
and General Counsel Kyle Levine, who was just
four months into his tenure as general counsel—
his first general counsel job—when the merger
The interview was conducted in December
2017, before the SOC was issued by the FAA.
The questions and answers have been edited
for clarity and space considerations.