at the meeting in cvg with the pilots, leo mullin was asked about a buyout of alaska, america west and a foreign airline. all he would say about it is they are interesting except for the foreign airlines which would most likely would not happen. dal,s debt to equity ratio is at 70% right now and he said that a stock buyout would occur if the debt to equity ratio dropped below 65%. alaska looks like a better fit than amwest with not too many overlapping routes and a fleet that is also a good fit with dal's.
Rather than a sale to Delta (or anyone for that matter), look for Alaska to align further with the Northwest/KLM/Continental partnership. This will start to happen next month
Delta has talked with Alaska about limited codesharing with Horizon into Portland. But, as was stated by Alaska's CEO recently, he, the board and the stockholders want to see Alaska remain independent.
There's really no reason to sell. Instead, the airline can pick and choose their own partners. Plus, partnerships are so much cleaner than mergers. It surprised me that Leo Mullin even considered going after Continental, considering what a disaster Delta's acquisitions have been in the past.
Anyways, I could write for hours, but in short, I would count on an Alaska acquisition anytime soon.
Thanks for the information. ALK is a good air line and well respected in ALaska. It might also be a good time for a stock split, but I haven't heard anything to indicate that this might occur anytime soon.