Spirit and Frontier Airlines merger

May 2, 2022

We believe that our pending merger with Frontier will start an exciting new chapter for Spirit.

Spirit’s chairman of the board, Mac Gardner, on a Spirit-Frontier merger; the nation’s two largest budget airlines together would create the fifth-largest U.S. airline.
  • Spirit Airlines announced that it will move forward with Frontier Airlines’ $2.9 billion bid, turning down JetBlue’s competing offer of $3.6 billion.
  • Spirit cited that a merger with JetBlue — which is a larger airline than Frontier — would have only a small chance of winning approval from government regulators.
  • Something to consider: The Justice Department is suing to block JetBlue’s current alliance with American Airlines in the Northeast, stating that the partnership would “eliminate important competition” in the industry.
  • While the Spirit-Frontier merger still needs to be reviewed by the Justice Department, analysts believe it is likely to be approved. Spirit said that the merger could be completed by the second half of the year.

Why It Matters: This would be the first airline merger in the U.S. since 2016. A merger of any of these budget airlines has the potential to more seriously compete with the top four airlines — American, Delta, United and Southwest — and provide more options for consumers.

Spirit still prefers bid from Frontier Airlines over JetBlue (Associated Press)

Spirit Airlines rejects JetBlue’s buyout bid, citing approval concerns (Washington Post)

Spirit board rejects JetBlue takeover offer on antitrust risks (Reuters)

by Jenna Lee,