The parent company of Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air says it is open to merger offers, although no discussions are under way. "No company can rule that out. You don't know where the world is headed," Alaska Air Group CEO Bill Ayer said when asked about merger rumors. With five consecutive years of annual profits and stock trading near a 52-week high, Alaska Air would make an attractive takeover target, according to analysts, and Delta Air Lines has been rumored as a potential suitor. For now, however, Alaska Air executives say they are committed to building a strong, independent carrier.

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