“The combination of the two companies will position JetBlue as the most compelling low-fare competitor to the dominant major US airlines by accelerating JetBlue’s growth,” JetBlue said in its statement.
Spirit said it would “work with its financial and legal advisors to evaluate the JetBlue proposal and pursue the course of action it determines to be in the best interest of Spirit and its shareholders.”
For its part, Frontier defended its offer, calling it the best deal for travelers and shareholders.
“Together, Spirit and Frontier will provide $1 billion in annual savings to consumers and deliver more ultra-low fares to more destinations across the country, creating an ultra-low-cost US airline,” Frontier said, adding that the merger would provide “shareholders” with upside potential. significant to the merged company as a result of the mergers.”
Both Spirit and Frontier as they are known in the industry operate as ultra-low-cost carriers, with very low base rates and additional charges for anything else a passenger needs, including carry-on baggage.
While passengers may like to view the lower fares from Spirit and Frontier, they generally give the airlines poor customer satisfaction scores.
Spirit had the highest number of passenger complaints in 2021, with 11.5 complaints per 100,000 passengers, according to statistics maintained by the US Department of Transportation. JetBlue had the second highest number of complaints on this basis with 6.4, but that’s down 43% from the previous year. Frontier ranked third in the industry with 5.8. In 2020, Frontier had the worst complaints rate when it registered 49.3 complaints per 100,000 customers.
“Customers don’t have to choose between a low price and a great experience, and JetBlue has shown that it is possible to have both,” said Robin Hayes, CEO of JetBlue.
Frontier played a role in the case, saying that since only 18% of the routes operated by Frontier or Spirit are operated by both carriers, its deal would be much better relative to the airlines’ competition. I argued that combining JetBlue-Spirit would reduce competition and lead to higher prices.
“It is surprising that JetBlue is considering such a merger at this time given that the Department of Justice is suing to block its suspended alliance with American Airlines,” Frontier said.