Ultra-low-cost carrier Allegiant Airlines could have a larger presence in Boston and greater New York if the merger between JetBlue and Spirit Airlines is approved.
JetBlue argued for its merger with Spirit Airlines on the basis of low prices and better competition. One beneficiary of both could be Allegiant Air.
The New York-based carrier announced a plan to divest “all of Spirit Airlines’ interests in Boston Logan International Airport and Newark Liberty International Airport” to the ultra-low-cost carrier.
Divestiture to Allegiant Part of Voluntary Program to Move Forward with Merger
Although the JetBlue and Spirit merger challenged in court, the two airlines are working together to advance their agreement. One step would be to reduce some of their mutual stakes in the country’s largest airports.
As part of their current plan, the airlines announced they would divest their stakes in Boston Logan (BOS) and Newark Liberty (EWR) to Allegiant Air. This includes two gates at each airport, as well as 43 takeoff and landing slots at the Greater New York Airport. It’s unclear how many spots Allegiant would gain in Boston.
Additionally, JetBlue will also divest some of its assets at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL). The carrier will return up to five Spirit gates and other ground facilities to the Broward County Department of Aviation. In turn, these assets will be dedicated to a future ultra-low-cost carrier at the airport. No announcement has been made as to who will ultimately receive these assets.
“The merger with Spirit will allow us to bring our signature service and low fares to even more people and places across the country and beyond,” Robin Hayes, chief executive officer of JetBlue, said in a statement from press. “Our divestiture commitment, while not necessary to ensure continued growth of the dynamic ultra-low-cost carrier segment, is intended to remove any doubt about our commitment to promoting competition.”
The announcement and final dispositions are subject to regulatory approval.
JetBlue’s decision comes after agreeing transfer assets to New York LaGuardia Airport (LGA) to the ultra-low-cost carrier Frontier Airlines. In June 2023, the airline announced it would transfer six gates and 22 takeoff and landing slots to the Denver-based airline as part of the merger process.
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