Alaska’s third largest commercial airline is getting $10 billion in federal financing, including $5 billion from the US Air Force, in what officials say is the first large-scale deal between a military and a commercial airline in the state.
Alaska Air Group Inc. (AAL) said Thursday it would use the money to expand its fleet in the U.S. and in the Pacific Northwest.
Alaska is a member of the US Pacific Fleet.
The deal is expected to close by early 2018.
Bill Walker said the deal is a win for Alaska residents.
“The Alaska Air Group has the largest cargo fleet in Alaska, and it’s growing every year,” he said.
“We want to grow our business in Alaska and we want to keep our business here.
It’s really important to us.”
Alaska Airlines says the new investment will provide an estimated 3,000 jobs, including about 400 jobs in Anchorage and 200 in nearby Kalamazoo.
Alcohol distributor Molson Coors Inc. has agreed to buy Alaska Airlines for $1.8 billion in cash and a 20 percent stake in Alaska.
Molson co-founder Tim Collins said in a statement that he and his family “are proud to continue our long-standing relationship with Alaska Airlines.”
Collins said the company would continue to operate Alaska Airlines in Alaska as well as in other U.N. member nations.