General Industry

Flight Attendants Union Backs Frontier-Spirit Tie-Up

By Dave Simpson
Flight Attendants Union Backs Frontier-Spirit Tie-Up

A union representing flight attendants at Frontier Airlines ULCC.O and Spirit Airlines SAVE.N has said that it would back a proposed merger after it reached a deal for a merger transition agreement.

Association of Flight Attendants-CWA President Sara Nelson said the agreement with Frontier Group "protects flight attendant jobs...and paves the way for efficient contract bargaining that allows flight attendants to experience the benefits of the merger as soon as possible."

JetBlue JBLU.O on Monday 16 May launched a hostile all-cash takeover bid for Spirit, two weeks after the low-cost carrier rejected an offer from the larger rival.

JetBlue Launches Tender Offer Of $30 Per Share For Spirit Airlines

The above news followed news that JetBlue Airways Corp JBLU.O said on Monday 16 May that it has commenced an all-cash, fully financed tender offer to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Spirit Airlines Inc SAVE.N for $30 per share.

JetBlue To Launch Tender Offer For Spirit Airlines - WSJ

All of the above news followed news that JetBlue Airways Corp JBLU.O plans to launch a hostile takeover attempt for discount carrier Spirit Airlines Inc SAVE.N, The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday 16 May, citing people familiar with the matter.


Spirit Airlines Sets June 10 Date For Shareholder Vote On Frontier Deal

All of the above news followed news that Spirit Airlines Inc SAVE.N will hold a shareholder meeting on 10 June for a vote on its proposed merger with Frontier Group Holdings Inc ULCC.O, according to a regulatory filing on Wednesday 11 May.

Spirit earlier this month rejected JetBlue Airways Corp's JBLU.O $33-per-share takeover offer, saying it had a low likelihood of winning approval from government regulators.

Frontier and JetBlue have been in a battle for Spirit, arguing that a merger with Spirit will help them better compete with legacy carriers, or the "big four" airlines that control nearly 80% of the U.S. passenger market.

JetBlue did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for a comment.

Sun Country Air Backs Rival's Merger, Plans To Stay Independent

Addtionally, all of above news followed news that the head of Sun Country Airlines SNCY.O threw his backing behind a potential merger in the ultra-low-cost airline sector in the United States, saying that it would be good for consumers.


Frontier Airlines ULCC.O and JetBlue Airways JBLU.O are battling for Spirit Airlines SAVE.N, which this month rejected an enhanced offer from JetBlue, saying it had low chances of regulatory approval compared to Spirit's agreed Frontier deal.

"We're pro this deal happening with either of the two counterparties...hopefully it happens before the end of the year," chief executive Jude Bricker told the Airline Economics conference.

"I think it makes a ton of sense for everybody involved, including and importantly, the consumer," he added.

White House National Economic Council Director Brian Deese

has said the Biden administration takes "very seriously" the impact of industry consolidation.


"My view is that the two carriers acting as one in the US will be better for us and that we'll see more rational pricing generally and I think it will be a net positive," Bricker said.

"I think it makes sense and I certainly agree with Frontier and Spirit's assertion that it's good for the consumer, it's good for the staff of both airlines. And it's going to be good for investors. I hope it happens."

Sun Country Airlines itself is not looking for acquisitions and plans to remain standalone, Bricker said.

"Our focus is to remain independent and continue to produce the kind of results we have done. Being our size, we can't be acquisitive. I think we've got a really good thing going that focuses just on execution for us right now."

US airlines face a strong recovery, Bricker said.


"The whole world is just really tight right now. And at the same time, we're seeing in our case unit revenues in the second quarter of '22, expand over unit revenues in the second quarter 2019 and pre-COVID by about 30%. So it's a massive, massive demand recovery."

News by Reuters, edited by Hospitality Ireland. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.