Photo Credit: Spirit Airlines

The Editor’s Corner #11 – Spirit Airlines Are Slowly Changing Their Mind…

LONDON – It is becoming clearer that Spirit Airlines is slowly changing its mind when it comes to a combination with JetBlue. Welcome to the Editor’s Corner.

The Editor’s Corner is an op-ed series from AviationSource Editor-in-Chief James Field, who is going to give his thoughts (Maybe controversial) on all things going on in the aviation industry.

In case you have missed the last 10, feel free to browse through them before you continue to read this piece:

  1. The Editor’s Corner #1: The Industry Isn’t Ready for Summer 2022 Demand
  2. The Editor’s Corner #2: JetBlue’s Offer for Spirit Airlines Will Change The American Airline Dynamic
  3. The Editor’s Corner #3: Boris Johnson’s Damage To The Aviation Sector is Another Reason for Resignation
  4. The Editor’s Corner #4: PLAY Will Transform The Market with a Post-Pandemic Edge
  5. The Editor’s Corner #5: Detriment of the Boeing 737 MAX & 787 Is Causing a 777X-Based Aftershock
  6. The Editor’s Corner #6: Qantas’ Plans For The Future Will Turn Around Negative Times
  7. The Editor’s Corner #7: The P2F Market Is Hotting Up…
  8. The Editor’s Corner #8: O’Leary Is Gunning For Another Cheap Boeing Order
  9. The Editor’s Corner #9: Ukraine Crisis: Turkish Airlines’ A350 Snap-Up from Aeroflot May Have Something To Do With A Red Carpet…
  10. The Editor’s Corner #10 – Ukraine Crisis: Lessors Will Not Win The Russia Battle

James will be starting things off with his next topic being: Spirit Airlines Are Slowly Changing Their Mind…

Spirit Airlines Are Slowly Changing Their Mind…

It remains clear that Spirit Airlines is slowly changing their minds when it comes to JetBlue’s counter-offer towards a combination.

As it stands, Spirit is still on track to merge with competitor Frontier Airlines, but as the pressure continues to be applied by JetBlue, we are seeing a potential last-minute change of heart.

And that can have some interesting impacts on the way the U.S airline industry will head going into the future…

Spirit Postpones Friday’s Meeting to June 30…

Earlier this week, Spirit Airlines revealed it would be postponing its meeting with Frontier Airlines regarding a merger until June 30, throwing speculation in the air that this deal could be on the edge of collapse.

The airline has insisted that it has not changed its mind about its combination with the ULCC, but with JetBlue offering a $350m reverse break-up fee to their revised offer, this has probably got the airline thinking about things.

Such a postponement wouldn’t have been initiated if it was going to be a done-deal regarding a combination between Spirit and Frontier.

And this is why it is causing a lot of speculation about where the combination is headed, and whether it will follow through or not.

JetBlue Could Finally Be On For The Win…

With JetBlue consistently revising its offers for a combination with Spirit, and with the yellow carrier postponing meetings, JetBlue could finally be on for the win.

This would however, require a major shift in thinking from Spirit, especially as the carrier has previously encouraged stockholders to vote against a combination with JetBlue.

Spirit even went as far as calling the bid from JetBlue as “hostile”, which would suggest that Spirit doesn’t want to go with JetBlue.

But even then, things are massively in the air, it seems.

What About Frontier?…

For Frontier, who has remained relatively quiet on the issue, the hope for them is that the combination with Spirit goes through.

Such a merger would be extremely beneficial, especially when it comes to opening themselves up to Spirit’s route network and fleet possibilities as well.

If Spirit decide to side with JetBlue, then that would be a major blow for Frontier, who would effectively have to compete against a Spirit-JetBlue-based brand.

And that could tip the edge between success and failure, irrespective of the size of the carrier and what their offerings are.

The Volatility Ahead…

The amount of volatility surrounding this particular situation is incredibly sensitive. Maybe Spirit has been convinced by JetBlue’s statement about the fact that the Department of Justice in the U.S would welcome the deal.

It is becoming that volatile that it is becoming harder to predict what sort of done deal will be established, whether to the benefit of Frontier or to JetBlue.

There is also the other scenario as well: What if JetBlue is trying to prevent this merger from going through, irrespective of whether it gets a deal with Spirit or not?

This is what the volatility is going to place on this deal, especially as it has to be carefully thought out, particularly to the impacts this will have on the U.S airline industry.

Overall: The Spirit-Frontier Merger Is In Danger of Collapse…

With those points in mind, it’s to my opinion that the Spirit-Frontier merger is in danger of collapse. I could be wrong, and that the delay to the meeting was for another reason.

But what remains clear is that something is going on behind the scenes that we don’t know about yet, and that this will surface once Spirit makes a decision.

After all, the ball is in their court. They can go for either side and experience growth, but the longer the volatility goes on, the more chance that viability goes out of the window.

So, all we have to do, is wait and see what happens.

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