JetBlue and Spirit Reach Merger Deal

JetBlue will acquire Spirit for $3.8 billion.

JetBlue will acquire Spirit for $3.8 billion.

After a negotiation spanning multiple months, two of the United States’ most prominent air carriers, JetBlue Airways and Spirit Airlines, have cut a deal for a merger. As the carriers announced yesterday morning, JetBlue will acquire Spirit in entirety for $33.50 per share, a total value of approximately $3.8 billion.

“Spirit and JetBlue will continue to advance our shared goal of disrupting the industry to bring down fares from the Big Four airlines,” JetBlue CEO Robin Hayes said in a statement.

“We have two priorities: one is to get this deal closed and get the airline integrated and build a bigger JetBlue,” Hayes added in a separate statement. “Secondly to run a reliable operation in the meantime.”

Some analysts have expressed concerns about the acquisition, noting that, as Spirit is the lowest-cost carrier in the United States, its absorption into JetBlue would limit many peoples’ ability to travel. Without Spirit around to offer low-cost fares, the average price of air travel could jump significantly.

“If you are a Spirit customer, you will see the biggest inflation you have ever seen,” Frontier Airlines CEO Barry Biffle said in an interview with Yahoo Finance. “You’re going to see fares jump up over 40%. It’s going to be hundreds of dollars per family. And so that’s why I think it’s a challenge for their consumers. There are going to be millions of people that get priced out.”

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