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Spirit And Frontier Airlines Merge In $6.6 Billion Deal

Source: Scott Olson / Getty

Two of the most commonly ridiculed airline companies are coming together in a merger that will be no laughing matter for the aviation business. Today, Spirit Airlines and Frontier announced the start of a $6.6 billion deal that will bring the two organizations under one umbrella and challenge the “The Big Four” airlines (American Airlines, Delta Airlines, Southwest Airlines, and United Airlines) for industry superiority.

“Together, Frontier and Spirit expect to change the industry for the benefit of consumers, bringing more ultra-low fares to more travelers in more destinations across the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean, including major cities as well as underserved communities,” they said in a joint statement.

The new company name, headquarters, and final CEO have not yet been decided, and the merger is scheduled to close in the latter part of the year. But Frontier Airlines (est. valuation ~ $4.52B on 04/01/21) will be the majority partner, with 51.5% shares. And the resultant airline is projected to save flyers more than $1B per year.

“Together, Frontier and Spirit will be America’s Greenest Airline and deliver more ultra-low fares to more people in more places,” said Barry Biffle, President and CEO of Frontier. “I couldn’t be more excited for our team members, customers, partners, the communities we serve and our shareholders.”

While Frontier has never been held in the highest regard (ranking second to last in a 2020 American Customer Satisfaction Index report), the one likely to benefit more from the merger is Spirit (which ranked last in the same survey. And fortunately, or unfortunately, we’ll see the end of the memes that long made Spirit Airlines the laughingstock of the industry.

“We are thrilled to join forces with Frontier to further democratize air travel,” Spirit president and CEO Ted Christie said in a statement. “This transaction is centered around creating an aggressive ultralow 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.”