“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,” Spirit CEO Ted Christie said in a prepared statement.
The announced merger would create the fifth-largest US carrier by revenue passenger miles.
The companies said Monday that the transaction will provide more low-cost fares for more travelers to destinations in the U.S., Latin America and the Caribbean.
Together, Frontier Airlines and Spirit Airlines offer over 1,000 daily flights to over 145 destinations in 19 countries with their all-Airbus fleets.
In a joint statement, Spirit and Frontier said they expect the deal will allow them to add 10,000 direct jobs by 2026 without the need for layoffs.
“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,” joint airlines’ release said.
The merger is expected to close in the second half of the year with William A. Franke, chair of Frontier’s board, serving as the chairman of the combined company, though the airlines may be in for a very close look from antimonopoly regulators. The Biden administration has signaled a tougher line against big corporate mergers.
The combined company is expected to have annual revenues of approximately $5.3 billion, based on last year’s results. Its board will include seven members named by Frontier and five members named by Spirit. Frontier Chair William Franke will serve as chairman of the combined company.
Frontier Airlines and Spirit Airlines have yet to make an announcement on the merger details such as the name of the new airline, the CEO, or where the new carrier will be based.