JetBlue has announced it is proposing the purchase of Spirit Airlines, which would make it one of the largest airlines in the United States.
“The combination of the two airlines would position JetBlue as the most compelling national low-fare challenger to the four large dominant U.S. carriers by accelerating JetBlue’s growth and expanding the reach of the ‘JetBlue Effect,’ which occurs when legacy carriers react to JetBlue’s unique combination of low fares and award-winning customer service with lower fares,” the airline said in a statement. “JetBlue triggers significantly greater fare decreases from legacy airlines when it enters a new market than when ultra-low-cost carriers enter a market.”
The merger would create the fifth largest U.S. airline, behind United, Delta, American, and Southwest. The current merger proposal would rebrand and retrofit Spirit’s fleet as JetBlue.
“Customers shouldn’t have to choose between a low fare and a great experience, and JetBlue has shown it’s possible to have both,” said Robin Hayes, JetBlue CEO. “When we grow and introduce our unique value proposition onto new routes, legacy carriers lower their fares and customers win with more choice. The combination of JetBlue and Spirit – coupled with the incredible benefits of our Northeast Alliance with American Airlines – would be a game changer in our ability to deliver superior value on a national scale to customers, crewmembers, communities, and shareholders. The transaction would accelerate our strategic growth and create sustained, long-term value for the stakeholders in both companies.”
JetBlue is partially based in New York City, and expects to grow from 200 to almost 300 daily flights across JFK, LaGuardia, and Newark, with plans to hire an additional 5,000 crew members in the area.
JetBlue is offering $33 per share in cash for Spirit, which is a 52 percent premium as of Feb. 4, 2022 — the last trading day before they announced the acquisition of Frontier Airlines.