Atlanta, GA

JetBlue buys Spirit Airlines for $3.8 billion

Carla St. Louis

After a months long bidding war, JetBlue solidifies its deal to acquire Spirit Airlines for $3.8 billion.

Now, the deal awaits approval from antitrust regulators. If it goes through, the merger marks the nation's fifth largest airline deal.

The announcement comes on the heals of a contentious courting, spurred by JetBlue through a hostile takeover during its deal with Frontier Group Holdings Inc.

Initially, JetBlue gave Spirit shareholders a tender offer of a 60 percent premium, or $30 per share on the value of the Frontier transaction from May 13, 2022. “JetBlue offers more value -- a significant premium in cash -- more certainty, and more benefits for all stakeholders," the company says about its bid.

While the board reviewed JetBlue's bid, industry insiders doubted that the deal would go trhough considering antitrust laws.

According to former airline executive, David Banmiller, the Department of Justice (DOJ) will get involved in any deal to buy Spirit Airlines.

JetBlue also recommended to shareholders that they vote against the merger with Frontier Group Holdings Inc., a $2.9 billion deal that was agreed upon in February 2022.

"Frontier offers less value, more risk, no divestiture commitments, and no reverse break-up fee, despite more overlap on non-stop routes and their own regulatory challenges," says the JetBlue statement. Spirit has already declined JetBlue's two previous offers. The last offer was $33 per share. Now, JetBlue says it would reconsider their previous offer if Spirit agrees to a "consensual transaction."

Spirit Airlines Inc. has a $3.2 billion valuation. Earlier this year, Spirit announced in a press release that its building new pilot and flight attendant bases at Miami International Airport and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

In light of summer travel, Consumer Reports offers tips to help ease the strain and navigate the airport.

  1. Passengers should arrive to the airport at least two hours before their scheduled departure time for domestic flights.
  2. Buy your ticket with your credit card's travel points.
  3. Passengers should arrive to the airport at least three hours before their scheduled departure time for international flights.
  4. Use the airport’s website for real-time updates on parking availability, security wait times, and food offerings.
  5. Use the airport’s Twitter profile to stay informed about operational information.
  6. Visit TSA's website to make sure you are following travel regulations.
  7. Check your luggage and belongings prior to arriving at the airport to make sure you are not bringing any prohibited items.
  8. Check in via Spirit's mobile app to cutdown on time.
  9. If you're enrolled in the Free Spirit program and want to use your points book your flight by dialing, 855-728-3555.

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