WASHINGTON Oct 14 Alaska Air Group Inc
was making "good progress" in talks with the Justice Department
on a planned merger with Virgin America Inc, an Alaska
spokeswoman said on Friday.
The Seattle-based company had said previously that it would
not close its deal with Virgin before Oct. 17, and spokeswoman
Bobbie Egan declined to spell out what would happen after that
"We're good. We're making good progress with the DOJ (U.S.
Justice Department) and we're looking at closing in early Q4,"
She declined to discuss potential sticking points. "I'm not
going into detail on the private negotiations underway but I can
say that we're making good progress," she said.
Alaska announced its $2.6 billion cash deal for Virgin
America in April, which will make it the top carrier on the U.S.
West Coast if the merger is approved. It would be the fifth
largest U.S. carrier after American, Delta,
United and Southwest.
The Justice Department declined to comment.
(Reporting by Diane Bartz; Editing by Andrew Hay)