Millions in stock to be repurchased by airline board


A plan to repurchase $50 million worth of Alaska Air Group stock was approved by the airline holding group’s board, the company announced Friday.

Alaska Air Group is the SeaTac-based holding company for Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air.

The repurchase plan comes at a time when the company’s stock has fallen to about half of what it sold for late last year.

The company’s stock price rose nearly 5 percent Friday to $16.38 a share. The stock’s 52-week high is $30.95 a share.

The company suspended a stock buyback program last year amid sharply rising fuel prices that put a strain on airlines’ cash balances.

The repurchases will come from cash on hand.

Bill Ayer, the airline’s chairman, said the program will reward stockholders without threatening the airline’s cash situation.

Stock buyback programs are designed to enhance stock prices by reducing the number of public shares outstanding.