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Wow: Spirit Airlines and Frontier Airlines Are Merging

Daniel Ross's image
Daniel Ross
Daniel Ross's image

Daniel Ross

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Daniel has loved aviation and travel his entire life. He earned a Master of Science in Air Transport Management and has written about travel and aviation in publications like Simple Flying, The Points...

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Update: Please see the most recent development in this story: Spirit Terminates Frontier Merger, Will Move Forward With JetBlue.

America’s 2 largest ultra-low-cost (ULC) airlines are merging to create 1 super, ultra-low-cost airline.

Spirit Airlines and Frontier Airlines will be coming to create what is pitted to be the most competitive ULC in the U.S., with the largest, youngest fleet of fuel-efficient Airbus A320neo aircraft in the country.

“We worked jointly with the Board of Directors and senior management team across both carriers to arrive at a combination of 2 complementary businesses that together will create America’s most competitive ultra-low fare airline for the benefit of customers,” said William A. Franke, the Chair of Frontier’s Board of Directors and the Managing Partner of Indigo Partners — Frontier’s majority stakeholder.

Let’s review the important details we know so far.

A New Ultra-Low-Cost Airline

The deal is expected to be finalized in the second half of 2022, meaning that we won’t find out details about the management team, new branding (as well as a new name), or the new airline headquarters until such a time.

The combining of the 2 airlines means that the new airline’s route network will be one of the most expansive, covering 145 destinations in 19 countries across the U.S., the Caribbean, and Latin America.

Frontier Spirit map destinations stats
Image Credit: Frontier

The merger is set to bring with it even more connections to underserved, smaller cities across the U.S.

Up until now, Frontier and Spirit have worked mainly as rivals, offering their passengers very similar experiences by connecting smaller, more regional airports for prices that you have to see to believe.

Given their similarities, it makes sense for them to have decided to join forces as 1 super, ultra-low-cost airline.

“We’re a perfect fit — our businesses share similar values, including our longstanding commitment to affordable travel. At the same time, we have complementary footprints and fleets, including one of the youngest and greenest fleets worldwide,” said Mac Gardner, Chairman of the Board of Spirit.

Frontier Spirit
Image Credit: Frontier

One of the main messages being delivered with the announcement of the merger is that above all, it will bring about more choice and even lower fares for passengers.

“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 competition pressure, resulting in more consumer-friendly fares for the flying public,” said Ted Christie, President and CEO of Spirit.

Of course, the merger will mean a new, combined frequent flyer program to replace Free Spirit and Frontier Miles, the details of which are yet to be revealed.

Final Thoughts

Low-cost flying in the U.S. is about to be shaken up by the merger of ultra-low-cost airlines Frontier and Spirit.

It’s an exciting prospect for both passengers and employees in the industry.

After 2 years of pandemic-induced despair for airlines, the news of the merger shines a light of positivity over the future of air travel and the possibilities of lower fares and more travel opportunities for passengers.

Daniel Ross's image

About Daniel Ross

Daniel has loved aviation and travel his entire life. He earned a Master of Science in Air Transport Management and has written about travel and aviation in publications like Simple Flying, The Points Guy, and more.

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