LONDON – Spirit Airlines’ stockholders have approved its merger with JetBlue, with more than 50% of the vote being in favor of this agreement.
Ted Christie, President and CEO of Spirit Airlines, said, “This is an important step forward on our path to closing a combination that will create the most compelling national low-fare challenger to the dominant U.S. carriers.”
“We look forward to continuing our ongoing discussions with regulators as we work toward completing the transaction and delivering value to Team Members, Guests, and stockholders.”
The completion of the transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including receipt of required regulatory approvals. Spirit and JetBlue expect to conclude the regulatory process and close the transaction no later than the first half of 2024.
The End of a Turbulent Period?
This should, in theory, bring an end to a turbulent period where we saw a two-way battle between Frontier and JetBlue over the course of this year.
Ted Christie, CEO of Spirit Airlines, had this to say on the termination:
“While we are disappointed that we had to terminate our proposed merger with Frontier, we are proud of the dedicated work of our Team Members on the transaction over the past many months”.
“Moving forward, the Spirit Board of Directors will continue our ongoing discussions with JetBlue as we pursue the best path forward for Spirit and our stockholders.”
Then, by the end of July, Spirit had made their mind up. They wanted to go with JetBlue.
“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,” said Robin Hayes, chief executive officer of JetBlue at that time.
“We look forward to welcoming Spirit’s outstanding Team Members to JetBlue and together creating a customer-centric, fifth-largest carrier in the United States.”
“Spirit and JetBlue will continue to advance our shared goal of disrupting the industry to bring down fares from the Big Four airlines.”
“This combination is an exciting opportunity to diversify and expand our network, add jobs and new possibilities for Crewmembers, and expand our platform for profitable growth.”
“Combining with Spirit will give JetBlue an even larger platform to deliver on our mission to inspire humanity,” said Peter Boneparth, chair of the board of JetBlue.
“With the best Crewmembers and Team Members in the industry, our Board and leadership team look forward to building long-term sustainable value for all our stakeholders as an even stronger, more competitive low-fare airline.”
All eyes will now be on the regulators to see whether this deal will be officially approved. Given the high drama within this, especially through antitrust concerns, it should be one to watch.
In the eyes of Frontier, they can now put this chapter to bed officially and move on with their own growth plans, and maybe one that will take on this newly merged entity.
But for now, we shall wait and see what the regulators will say.