U.S.-based budget air carriers Frontier Airlines and Spirit Airlines announced on Monday that they have signed a definitive merger agreement. In a move that would create the fifth largest airline in the country, the companies plan to combine to form a single “ultra-low fare” air carrier. Following the merger, which is valued at approximately $6.6 billion and expected to close in the second half of 2022, Frontier will hold a 51.5-percent stake in the business.
“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 Spirit President and CEO Ted Christie. “We look forward to uniting our talented teams to shake up the airline industry while also continuing our commitment to excellent Guest service.”
According to the companies, the combined airline will offer more than 1,000 flights a day to over 145 destinations in 19 countries. Expansion plans include adding 10,000 jobs by 2026 and growing the number of aircraft on order to more than 350. The leadership team, name of the combined carrier and where it will be headquartered have not yet been determined.