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Alaska Air to record $82 million as merger-related costs in fourth quarter

An Alaska Airlines plane is pictured with a paint job to mark the centennial of The Boeing Company in Seattle, Washington July 15, 2016. REUTERS/Jason Redmond

(Reuters) - Alaska Air Group Inc (ALK.N) said on Wednesday it expects to record $82 million in the fourth quarter in costs related to the $2.6 billion acquisition of Virgin America Inc.

Alaska Air completed its acquisition of Virgin America in December to become the fifth-largest U.S. carrier.

The Seattle-based company said it expected unit revenue, a closely watched performance metric, for the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, in the range of 11.24 cents to 11.29 cents, including Virgin America's operational data. (http://bit.ly/2jJNPGw)

Alaska Air's fourth-quarter expectations include Virgin America's financial data from the period Dec. 14 to Dec. 31.

(Reporting by Ankit Ajmera in Bengaluru; Edited by Martina D'Couto)