Spirit and JetBlue airlines are merging — on paper, not in flight.
Spirit Airlines announced Wednesday that its shareholders finally approved the long-awaited $3.8 billion merger proposal with JetBlue. If approved by regulators, JetBlue will become the nation’s fifth-largest airline.
Over the summer, JetBlue and Spirit announced plans to join forces following a months-long bidding war between JetBlue and fellow budget carrier Frontier.
With this news, JetBlue expects to complete its Spirit acquisition no later than the first half of 2024 with a combined fleet of 458 aircraft. The airlines will continue to operate independently until after the transaction closes, at which point Spirit will be no more.
For travelers, this merge could mean higher airfares as JetBlue competes more directly with legacy full-service carriers than ultra-low-cost carriers. Fortunately, in-flight experience will see a (welcome) change, as Spirit’s planes will be retrofitted to meet JetBlue specifications.
Even if there aren’t many immediately obvious benefits yet, the merger did give us this TikTok and that’s…something?