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NEW YORK (AP) — Alaska Air Group is buying Virgin America in a deal combining their West Coast presence and reigniting the debate over airline consolidation.

The deal would be worth more than $2 billion, with the combined business to be based in Seattle.

Alaska Airlines says the deal will expand its route network to include 1,200 daily departures. The airline is currently the sixth-largest U.S. carrier by traffic and serves 90 destinations in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

This deal gives it a bigger presence in San Francisco and Los Angeles, two coveted gates at Dallas Love Field, and more transcontinental service.

The transaction also gives Alaska more access to some East Coast airports such as Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and John F. Kennedy International Airport and LaGuardia Airport in New York.

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