It seems one of the most challenged travel brands might be able to finally get its act together. JetBlue has agreed to buy Spirit Airlines for 3.8 billion dollars.
As per AP News JetBlue Airways has won a bid to take ownership of Spirit Airlines. The buyout will essentially make the conglomerate the world’s fifth biggest airline company but the deal is not closed just yet. The transaction will have to be approved by an antitrust regulation committee for it to move forward. The announcement comes months after a bidding war that seemed to be going nowhere with Spirit’s most recent attempt of merging with Frontier falling apart this week. To make it even more awkward Spirit CEO Ted Christie had long been vehemently against the idea of JetBlue buying them out but now has to sell in the idea as a good business move for all parties involved.
In a recent interview with CNBC he discusses the play in more detail. “A lot has been said over the last few months obviously, always with our stakeholders in mind,” he said. “We have been listening to the folks at JetBlue, and they have a lot of good thoughts on their plans for that.” JetBlue on the other hand has always framed the acquisition as a positive for the consumer citing it will force competitors to lower their fares. “The real issue here though is clearly what can we do in the U.S. to make a more competitive airline industry against the large, big four airlines,” JetBlue CEO Robin Hayes said in a statement. “We believe the most disruptive, the most effective thing that we can do is build a bigger JetBlue more quickly than we otherwise could.”
The speculation is that if approved, Spirit would fully convert to the JetBlue business model including their seating configuration and routes which have long been complaints of many Spirit customers.
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