Spirit, Frontier To Merge


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.

Kate O'Connor
Kate O’Connor works as AVweb's Editor-in-Chief. She is a private pilot, certificated aircraft dispatcher, and graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

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        • Or, looking at the title, Frontier now has a new, sudden Spirt of business…
          Sorry, Kate, couldn’t resist 🙂

          • Most likely, that typo was not Kate’s, unless being a “Senior” AvWeb editor entails web layout responsibilities. Even in the old days of newsprint, the reporter didn’t create the headline.

            The only advantage of those two airlines, separately or merged, is the slight downward pressure they put on the price of a seat on one of the majors. Whether either one of them is better than Greyhound/Trailways/Amtrak is a personal call.

          • This whole thread made me laugh. You guys are the best.

            Typo’s on me, I’m afraid. We generally do our own posting around here.

  1. Two of the worst airlines in the country becoming one, oh boy! That means now if my company sticks me on one of their flights I can enjoy both the lack of any legroom and a park bench hard seat. I have lost count of how many passengers who have taken “advantage” of Spirit’s pricing model say they would never fly with them again! I hope the government antitrust people actually do their job this time and stop this.

  2. I am just wishing that all my friends and former crewmates at Frontier and Spirit don’t suffer too much disruption from the merger.

    It has been my experience over the years that the only folks who really benefit from mergers are the Attorneys who put it all together.

  3. This merger has all the makings of sharing the misery as well as the assets of each partner. The soon-to-be-gone CEO’s “industry shakeup – new jobs” press release seems to be getting ahead of itself, what with “The leadership team, name of the combined carrier and where it will be headquartered have not yet been determined.” Should have just released that clip of Charles Napier on Star Trek TOS – “Let’s get together and have some fun – I don’t know how to do it but it’s got to be done.”

    • It’s likely been determined, but not released. Continental/United knew exactly where almost all the jobs would end up, but lied about it ceaselessly. Smisek sucked up to the right people, or there would be at least one good book about how that whole thing went down. I’m surprised the mayor in Houston they stabbed in the back didn’t ever write a book. Still hoping for a job I guess.

  4. The consumer determines the level of service you get. You want cheap a$$ fares you get what you pay for. In my decades at the airlines, I unfortunately witnessed the incremental decrease in what had formerly been a slightly higher level of society boarding the planes verses an urban city bus. Witness the disruptive behavior on airlines nowadays verses 40 years ago!