Last updated: 03:21 PM ET, Fri July 15 2016

Alaska Air Names Executives to Lead Virgin America Post-Merger

Airlines & Airports | Patrick Clarke | July 15, 2016

Alaska Air Names Executives to Lead Virgin America Post-Merger

Photo courtesy of Virgin America 

Alaska Airlines' chief operating officer and president Ben Minicucci is set to take over as CEO of Virgin America in the wake of the Alaska Air Group's recent acquisition of the California-based carrier in a deal valued at $4 billion, according to the Seattle Times.

The Times also reported Virgin America's senior vice president and chief financial officer Peter Hunt will temporarily serve as Virgin's president.

Hunt will remain in his new role until the two airlines are able to obtain a single operating certificate from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which is expected to occur sometime in 2018.

In his new role, Hunt will report to Minicucci and provide understanding of the subsidary that Alaska Air Group chairman Brad Tilden described as "invaluable," per the Frequent Business Traveler.

READ MORE: What Does the Alaska/Virgin Buyout Mean for Travelers?

First announced back in April, Alaska's acquisition of Virgin is expected to be completed during the fourth quarter of 2016.

"With our expanded network and strong presence in California, we’ll offer customers more attractive flight options for nonstop travel," Tilden said in a statement following the acquisition agreement earlier this year. "We look forward to bringing together two incredible groups of employees to build on the successes they have achieved as standalone companies to make us an even stronger competitor nationally."

Once complete, Alaska Airlines' Mileage Plan will take on Virgin America's Elevate members and the company headquarters will remain based in Seattle.


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