A definitive merger of the airlines had been unanimously approved by the boards of both companies, it said in a statement.

Alaska Air will pay USD 57 in cash per share for Virgin America.

"The combination expands Alaska Airlines' existing footprint in California, bolsters its platform for growth and strengthens the company as a competitor to the four largest US airlines," it said.
The newly merged company will be headquartered in Seattle, it said.

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