Spirit Airlines stockholders approve JetBlue merger plan


Spirit Airlines shareholders voted to approve a $3.8 billion merger proposal with JetBlue. If approved by regulators, it will create the fifth-largest airline in the U.S.

The outcome of the vote seemed likely after Spirit’s attempt to merge with Frontier Airlines fell apart this summer. Spirit’s board had favored joining forces with the rival discounter. At the time, the board said antitrust regulators were more likely to reject the bid from JetBlue, but the airline’s executives now say they expect to receive regulatory approval and close the deal by the first half of 2024.

“We believe we can uniquely be a solution to the lack of competition in the U.S. airline industry and the continued dominance of the Big Four,” JetBlue’s CEO Robin Hayes said in a statement over the summer. “By enabling JetBlue to grow faster, we can go head-to-head with the legacies in more places to lower fares and improve service for everyone. Even combined with Spirit, JetBlue will still be significantly smaller than the Big Four, but we’ll be much better positioned to bring the proven JetBlue Effect to many more routes and locations.” 

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