The United States Department of Justice has until August 5 to decide on the proposed merger between Alaska Airlines (AS, Seattle Tacoma International) and Hawaiian Airlines (HA, Honolulu), after the airlines complied with a second request to submit additional information and documents, triggering a 90-day waiting period for the finalisation of the transaction. The merger may still go ahead earlier if the DOJ closes its investigation before the end of the period.

According to a document filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), both Hawaiian Airlines and Alaska Airlines confirmed substantial compliance on May 7 with the so-called "second request" received from the DOJ's Antitrust Division on February 7 to submit more documentation related to the proposed merger. This triggered the 90-day waiting period for the finalisation of the agreement, agreed to with the DOJ on March 27.

Both parties stated they were collaborating with the DOJ and anticipated continuing to do so.

On December 2, 2023, Hawaiian Holdings entered into a merger agreement with Alaska Air Group and its wholly-owned subsidiary Marlin Acquisition Corp. The agreement outlined the merger of Marlin Acquisition and Hawaiian Holdings, with Hawaiian surviving as a subsidiary of Alaska Air Group. The deal is valued at USD1.9 billion and will see Alaska Air Group assuming USD900 million of Hawaiian's debt. The merged company would continue to operate both airlines under their own brands while combining their operating platform. Each board has approved the transaction but regulatory approval is needed before it can proceed.

The completion of the merger is subject to various conditions, including the expiration or early termination of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 (HSR Act) and other necessary approvals.

Under the Biden administration, the DOJ has taken a more cautious stance on airline consolidation, evident when, on January 16, a federal judge halted the USD3.8 billion merger between JetBlue Airways and Spirit Airlines.

Last month, a group of passengers filed an antitrust lawsuit to thwart the merger between Alaska Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines. The lawsuit contends that the merger would breach federal law by diminishing competition and posing a threat to Hawaii's economy.