JetBlue Acquires Spirit Airlines - What's Next?
It’s finally official – JetBlue Airways will acquire Spirit Airlines. The newly-acquired Spirit had previously considered a merger with Frontier Airlines, but shareholders rejected that plan.
The total cost to JetBlue comes in at $3.8 billion, which means they are paying $33.50 per share for the company takeover.
It’s no surprise that two airlines would combine in an era of mergers, consolidation, and accumulation. But what might be a surprise is that these are the two airlines that chose to combine.
A Culture Clash – JetBlue and Spirit Experience?
The most obvious question for consumers is what this will mean for the Spirit flying experience. Spirit Airlines made its name as a bare-bones flying experience with cramped seats and nickel-and-dime fees for any and every upgrade, including checked baggage.
JetBlue, on the other hand, boasts more space, screens embedded into the seats, and other amenities.
By acquiring Spirit, JetBlue hopes to bring the JetBlue experience to more customers. JetBlue plans to completely remake the interior of the Spirit aircraft, removing seats to create more space.
What this means for Spirit’s budget offerings is not yet clear.
When Will The JetBlue/Spirit Merger Happen?
The current expectation is that JetBlue and Spirit would get approval for the merger at the end of 2023 or the beginning of 2024. The deal would then close in 2024.
Assuming the two companies get approval, the combination of the two would create the fifth-largest airline in the United States. Until the actual combination, the two carriers will continue to operate as separate entities.
After the merger, JetBlue’s process of retrofitting planes and possibly combining staff will take several more years. Spirit Airlines has commented that they recently improved about 100 Airbus planes, so they are ready for more retrofit operations that will be demanded by their new owner.