Alaska Air Group, Inc. (NYSE:ALK) has announced that it will likely be retiring the Virgin America brand in 2019.
Alaska Airlines says that the decision will have Virgin America adopting its own brand name and logo. This decision comes after ALK and Virgin America completed a merger of the two companies in December of last year.
“We spent the last 10 months conducting extensive research and listening carefully to what fliers on the West Coast want most,” Sangita Woerner, Alaska Airlines’ Vice President of Marketing, said in a statement. “While the Virgin America name is beloved to many, we concluded that to be successful on the West Coast we had to do so under one name – for consistency and efficiency, and to allow us to continue to deliver low fares.”
Alaska Airlines says that the retiring of the Virgin America brand doesn’t mean that elements from it will disappear. Instead, it wants to incorporate those elements into its own flights. This includes adding music, in-flight movies and mood lighting in 2017.
Alaska Airlines also has other ideas for how to better its flights. It plans to have all of its aircraft equipped with high-speed satellite Wi-Fi by the end of 2019. The airline company also says that it will be introducing larger airport lounges that year. It will also release new uniforms by fashion designer Luly Yang for its “flight attendants, customer service agents, pilots, mechanics and ground crew” in 2019.
ALK stock was up 2% as of noon Thursday.