JetBlue Airways Corporation (Nasdaq: JBLU) and Allegiant (Nasdaq: ALGT) announced that the airlines have entered into a definitive agreement under which JetBlue will transfer to Allegiant all of the holdings of Spirit Airlines, Inc. (NYSE: SAVE) at Boston Logan International Airport and Newark Liberty International Airport. JetBlue will also turn over up to five gates and related ground facilities at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport to promote ultra-low-cost carrier growth.
On June 1, JetBlue announced that it will divest all of Spirit’s holdings at New York’s LaGuardia Airport to Frontier. Together, these divestitures are part of JetBlue’s voluntary upfront commitments included in the merger agreement with Spirit and are conditioned on the closing of the JetBlue-Spirit transaction.
The divestitures are subject to approval by the local airport authorities as well as FAA/DOT, and are conditioned upon and will occur after the closing of JetBlue’s planned combination with Spirit. JetBlue expects to close the transaction with Spirit in the first half of 2024.
“Over the past twenty years, JetBlue has established itself as a competition MVP, bringing high-quality, affordable service to a wide variety of travelers across the United States,” said Robin Hayes, chief executive officer, JetBlue. “Merging with Spirit will allow us to bring our signature service and low fares to even more people and places across the country and beyond. Our divestiture commitment, while not needed to ensure the continued growth of the vibrant ultra-low-cost carrier segment, is aimed at removing any doubt of our commitment to promoting competition.”
“We are committed to long-term growth, especially in areas such as New York, Boston and Florida. This agreement will allow us to expand our service in these cities and ensure that customers have even more access to affordable, nonstop flights for their travel needs,” said Drew Wells, chief revenue officer, Allegiant.
Under the terms of the agreement, JetBlue has agreed to transfer to Allegiant all of Spirit’s holdings in Boston and Newark, principally consisting of two gates in Boston, two gates in Newark, and 43 takeoff and landing authorizations in Newark. In addition, JetBlue has agreed to relinquish up to five gates at Fort Lauderdale to the Broward County Aviation Department and will work closely with the Department to facilitate Allegiant’s ULCC growth at FLL using these gates.