Frontier and Spirit Airlines to Merge in $6.6 Billion Deal to Create Nation’s Fifth Largest Carrier

By Kurt Stolz on 7 February 2022
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Spirit Airlines and Frontier Airlines announced on Monday plans to merge in a $6.6 billion deal.

The merger of the two low-cost carriers, if concluded, would create the country’s fifth-largest airline, leapfrogging both JetBlue Airways and Alaska Airlines.

“This transaction is centered around creating an aggressive ultra-low fare competitor to serve our guests even better, expand career opportunities for our team members, and increase competitive pressure, resulting in more consumer-friendly fares for the flying public,” said the CEO of Spirit, Ted Christie.

The news comes after Spirit reported a loss of $440.6 million in 2021, which was less than the $719.6 million it lost in 2020.  Frontier had previously reported a $299 million loss for 2021, a figure largely unchanged from 2020.

Shortly after the merger was announced, all of Frontier’s flights were grounded by an IT issue that was quickly fixed.

“Earlier today, we experienced a technology issue which led to some flight delays and cancellations,” the carrier said in a statement shortly before noon EST. “The issue was identified and has been resolved. We are working to restore our flight schedule for the balance of the day.”

The two airlines also lead in consumer complaints.  According to Department of Transportation data covering January through September 2021, Spirit had 13.25 complaints per 100,000 passengers and Frontier had the third most, with 5.76.  In the same period in 2020, Frontier had 60.24 complaints per 100,000 passengers.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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