JetBlue Airlines announced its plans to acquire Spirit Airlines on Thursday (July 28). This announcement comes one day after Spirit pulled the plug from their deal to merge with Frontier. Representatives at Spirit continuously expressed concern about whether or not regulators will even approve the acquisition. However, JetBlue hit them with an all-cash offer. Meanwhile, Frontier had a less valuable cash-and-stock offer.
JetBlue CEO Robin Hayes said this would be a fruitful partnership for all parties involved. He stated, “We are excited to deliver this compelling combination that turbocharges our strategic growth, enabling JetBlue to bring our unique blend of low fares and exceptional service to more customers on more routes.” Industry experts fear this deal can bring higher fares than Frontier and Spirit merging because both airlines have low-base fares. JetBlue offers lower fares than other major airlines, but the company’s plans to reconfigure the planes on Spirit and add first class seating is a concern for many.
Scott’s Cheap Flights CEO Scott Keyes said, “Spirit and Frontier play a big role in the fare you pay, even if you never fly either one. When Delta announced the basic economy fare in 2012, they described it to investors as a ‘Spirit-matching fare,’ because their lunch was getting eaten by the budget carriers of the world. I’m not a fan of either merger, but I like the JetBlue option even less.”
The JetBlue-Spirit deal will face major scrutiny from the US Department of Justice if the acquisition becomes harmful to consumers. Social media users have already weighed in on the purchase. One user joked, “The $3.8 billion only covers the planes themselves. [If] JetBlue wants the seats, overhead compartments, or any luggage, Spirit is gonna charge them extra!” Another user expressed their disapproval of the deal. He wrote, “This is beyond infuriating. We just handed JetBlue a multi-billion dollar bailout, and now they are allowed to purchase another airline company. This is not partisan. Both sides have been bought and paid for. Disgusting.” Check out some reactions below: