Last week we learned that Virgin America was for sale and was in talks with potential buyers such as Delta Airlines and JetBlue. As of today, the airline has received official offers from Alaska Airlines and JetBlue.
Sir Richard Branson’s airline is known for its trendy fleet and cool-kids status in the air, and continuously wins awards for its in-flight service and style. But as a midsize carrier with only 59 jets, it has struggled to make money. However, last month, the airline reported the most income in its history with a 2015 adjusted earnings of $201.5 million.
Both bidder’s shares have already jumped since their takeover proposals. Alaska increased 1.1 percent to $81.49 and JetBlue gained 2.7 percent to $20.79. JetBlue currently has a fleet of 200 carriers and a larger east coast presence and would benefit from Virgin’s west coast routes. On the other hand, Alaska would eliminate a west coast rival and offer more flights to Mexico. “If the company were to sell itself, JetBlue would make the most sense from an aircraft, network and product offering perspective,” Helane Becker, a Cowen & Co. analyst said in a report Monday.
Representatives from Alaska and JetBlue remain silent on the takeover, but speculations predict a sale could be confirmed as early as next week.