Alaska Airlines president and COO Ben Minicucci will additionally take on the role of Virgin America CEO when Alaska Air Group’s acquisition of Virgin America closes.
Seattle-based Alaska Air Group, parent of Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air, expects the $4 billion acquisition of San Francisco-based Virgin America to gain regulatory approval from the US Department of Justice and close “early in the fourth quarter of this year,” the company said in a statement outlining Virgin America’s senior management structure following the merger.
Virgin America SVP and CFO Peter Hunt will become president of Virgin America following the transaction’s close and be in charge of Virgin America’ day-to-day operations, Alaska Air Group said. He will report directly to Minicucci. Alaska Air Group said Minicucci and Hunt will run Virgin America until Alaska/Virgin America gaina single operating certificate from FAA, which the company expects will happen in early 2018.
Alaska Air Group chairman and CEO Brad Tilden said in a statement that Hunt “is well-positioned to lead[Virgin America] … through the transition,” adding, “His understanding of the Virgin America brand, as well as its [passengers], will be invaluable as we work to build on the successVirgin Americahas achieved in nine short years.”
Hunt has been Virgin America’s CFO ofsinceJuly 2011. Minicucci in May was given the title of Alaska Airlines president in addition to COO, a role he’s held since 2008.
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