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JetBlue CEO Is ‘Confident’ Spirit Deal Will Pass Antitrust Reviews

 |  April 6, 2022

JetBlue Airways’s chief executive officer is confident his company’s proposed purchase of Spirit Airlines will pass muster with US regulators and suggested it may help overcome their legal challenge to an alliance with American Airlines, reported Bloomberg.

“We think these deals are very complementary,” JetBlue CEO Robin Hayes said in an interview Tuesday, hours after the Spirit bid was disclosed. “We’re confident when you look at what we’re trying to do here, build a bigger brand to compete with the legacy airlines to bring more low fares to more customers, we’re going to have a very compelling argument.”

Related: US Set To Challenge American-JetBlue Deal

The US Justice Department is set to take JetBlue and American to trial in September, claiming their alliance coordinating flights in the US Northeast is a de-facto merger, eliminates competition and will raise fares. The carriers say it provides more flight choices and have asked a judge to throw out the legal challenge.

JetBlue on Tuesday announced an unsolicited offer to buy Spirit for $3.6 billion, potentially upsetting a competing bid by rival Frontier Group Holdings Inc. The combination, Hayes said, would broaden its operation and address a US concern that its network is too concentrated.

If the plan succeeds, JetBlue would drop Spirit’s bare bones service and ultra-low fares in favor of its own business model.

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