JetBlue Airways Corporation has officially announced its takeover of Spirit Airlines as part of “an aggregate fully diluted equity value of $3.8 billion and an adjusted enterprise value of $7.6 billion,” the company announced in a news release on Thursday (July 28).
JetBlue’s purchase of Spirit — which had spoiled Frontier’s plans to merge with its fellow domestic budget airline — will create the United States’ fifth-largest airline, which is projected to account for a combined share of more than 10% of the market, according to the New York Times.
“We are excited to deliver this compelling combination that turbocharges our strategic growth, enabling JetBlue to bring our unique blend of low fares and exceptional service to more customers, on more routes,” said Robin Hayes, JetBlue chief executive officer, in the news release. “We look forward to welcoming Spirit’s outstanding Team Members to JetBlue and together creating a customer-centric, fifth-largest carrier in the United States. Spirit and JetBlue will continue to advance our shared goal of disrupting the industry to bring down fares from the Big Four airlines.”
JetBlue said the merger will “offer its 77 million customers more options and choices,” promising more than 1,700 “daily flights to more than 125 destinations in 30 countries based on December 2022 schedules.”
In April, JetBlue was reported to have made an offer of “roughly $3.6 billion” to acquire Spirit Airlines, outbidding Frontier, three sources with knowledge of the negotiations confirmed to the New York Times at the time.
Spirit and Frontier, both domestic budget airlines, had previously agreed to merge in February prior to JetBlue’s massive offer and the deal was officially called off on Wednesday (July 28).