JetBlue Announces Prepayment Dates for Spirit Deal
Airlines Business / Finance

JetBlue Announces Prepayment Dates for Spirit Deal

DALLAS — New York-based JetBlue Airways (B6) has set March 27, 2023, as the date for March 2023 prepayment to Spirit Airlines (NK) stockholders. B6 will pay $0.10 per Spirit share with the payment of the March 2023 additional prepayment will occur on March 31, 2023. 

These payments are part of the merger between B6 and NK. In April 2022, B6 offered to buy NK after Frontier (F9) and NK announced a planned merger in February 2022.

However, in May, the Department of Justice filed an antitrust lawsuit against the NK and F9 merger as it would lead to higher fares and would eliminate half of the ultra-low-cost capacity in the United States. In July, NK and B6 agreed to a US$3.8bn purchase. 

Now the Department of Justice has gotten involved in B6’s proposed acquisition of NK. During JPMorgan’s Industrials Conference, JetBlue CEO Robin Hayes called the Department of Transportation’s involvement “unprecedented.”

Hurdles for Purchase

On March 7, the Department of Transportation announced that it would try to prevent the purchase. This is after the Department of Justice filed a lawsuit to block the acquisition, as in the United States, the Department of Justice oversees antitrust laws and evaluates proposed mergers. 

JetBlue is also fighting another federal antitrust lawsuit to block the carrier’s Northeast Alliance (NEA) with American Airlines (AA). In September 2021, the DOJ sued to block the partnership between AA and B6. In September 2022, the case was tried in a United States District Court in Boston.  

Even with all of these legal challenges, B6 is moving forward with the planned acquisition of NK, which will create the fifth-largest airline in the United States.

They will have an estimated 9% market share, which would still be smaller than the largest airlines in the United States, including AA, Delta Air Lines (DL), United Airlines (UA), and Southwest Airlines (WN).

jetBlue N2048J Airbus A321-271NX. Photo: Andrew Henderson/Airways

Joshua Kupietzky has a passion for aviation and deep expertise in the aviation industry. He’s been enamored with the facts and figures of the airline industry, and the details of the make and model of commercial aircraft for as long as he can remember. Based in Chicago, US. Follow him on Instagram @jbkaviation

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