whoever loses the bidding war for Delta, USAir, Northwest and/or United will most likely set its sites on Alaska Air with its unique north to south route which increasingly is entering into growing markets such as Canada/US and Us/Mexico flights. Also, ALK's routes overlap hardly any of the major airlines so it can fit in with any of these 3 well.
Northwest and American both need ALK to feed the Pacific. If NWA and DAL tie the knot look for a bidding war between the new NWA/DAL and AMR sometime 3rd quarter. Frontier/Value Jet/Jet Blue/Midwest do not have the money or need to buy ALK
It can't be United as our routes overlap ALK all over the west coast. They already code share with American so AMR, Air Tran,Delta or another similar sized airline might be a better bet. i.e. Hawaiian, Aloha,Spirit, or JBLU maybe? Southwest might even be a good fit.
I think a 3 way with Alaska, AirTran, and Midwest would be interesting. The routmaps fit together well, equipment seems to be complementary. This would let Alaska stay in control instead of being the target of one of the others. They would also have a decent scale. What do you guys think?