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Spirit halts merger agreement with Frontier, as negotiations carry on with JetBlue

Frontier and Spirit had announced previous merger plans in February
JetBlue Spirit
Posted at 6:36 PM, Jul 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-27 18:36:52-04

Frontier is no longer in talks with Spirit after months of negotiations to try and merge the two U.S. discount airlines, which now puts the focus squarely on JetBlue Airways and a possible acquisition by Spirit.

As the Wall Street Journal reported, Spirit rejected agreements within the talks with Frontier to merge, and shareholders were resistant to the deal as a bidding war ensued with JetBlue.

The termination of the merger agreement between Spirit and Frontier Airlines on Wednesday comes months after JetBlue impaired the deal by bidding as well. Still, Spirit says it will continue the “ongoing discussions with JetBlue" as the company pursues "the best path forward for Spirit" and stockholders.

Airlines Blocking Seats
FILE - In this Oct. 18, 2019, file photo a JetBlue Airways flight flies in to Salt Lake City International Airport in Salt Lake City. JetBlue says it plans to increase the number of seats it will fill on planes starting in December. That makes JetBlue the latest airline to retreat from blocking middle seats to give passengers more space because of the pandemic. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

If Spirit takes over JetBlue, the deal will create the fifth-largest airline in the U.S., CNBC reported.

According to the Washington Post, Spirit terminated the Frontier deal as shareholders were reportedly prepared to reject it after JetBlue made a recent higher offer.

Ted Christie, president and CEO of Spirit Airlines released a statement that said, “While we are disappointed that we had to terminate our proposed merger with Frontier, we are proud of the dedicated work of our Team Members on the transaction over the past many months.”

He said, “Moving forward, the Spirit Board of Directors will continue our ongoing discussions with JetBlue as we pursue the best path forward for Spirit and our stockholders,” the Verge reported.