JetBlue submits superior proposal to acquire Spirit

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JetBlue (NASDAQ: JBLU) confirmed today that it has submitted a proposal to the Board of Directors of Spirit (NYSE: SAVE) to acquire Spirit for $33 per share in cash, implying a fully diluted capital value of $3.6 billion and providing value totally and safely to the shareholders of Spirit. The proposal represents a 52% premium to Spirit’s undisturbed share price on February 4, 2022 1 and a 50% premium to Spirit’s closing share price on April 4, 2022 2 . JetBlue firmly believes that its proposal constitutes a “superior proposal” under Spirit’s merger agreement with Frontier and represents the most attractive opportunity for Spirit shareholders.

The combination of the two airlines would position JetBlue as the most compelling domestic low-fare competitor to the dominant Big Four U.S. carriers by accelerating JetBlue’s growth and expanding the scope of the “JetBlue Effect,” which occurs when airlines traditional airlines react to JetBlue’s unique blend. of low fees and award-winning customer service with lower fees. JetBlue triggers significantly larger fare reductions from traditional airlines when it enters a new market than when ultra-low-cost carriers enter a market.

“Customers shouldn’t have to choose between a low fare and a great experience, and JetBlue has shown that it’s possible to have both,” said JetBlue CEO Robin Hayes. “When we grow and introduce our unique value proposition on new routes, traditional airlines reduce their fares and customers win with more options. The combination of JetBlue and Spirit, along with the incredible benefits of our Northeast Alliance with American Airlines, would be a turning point in our ability to deliver superior value nationwide to customers, crew members, communities and shareholders. The transaction would accelerate our strategic growth and create sustained long-term value for both companies’ stakeholders.”

Challenges dominant airlines with low fares and award-winning customer service
In the 22 years since JetBlue first brought low fares to New York, airline mergers have created a landscape in which America’s four largest airlines The US controls more than 80 percent of the domestic market, to the detriment of consumers. The combination of JetBlue and Spirit would create the nation’s fifth-largest airline, better positioning it nationally as a customer-focused, low-fare alternative to the dominant “Big Four” carriers.

Customers love JetBlue for its award-winning inflight service, which offers the most legroom in economy class (a); Free fast Fly-Fi broadband internet (b); free and unlimited brand-name snacks and soft drinks; and free live DIRECTV® programming at every seat. The current merger proposal assumes the rebranding and modernization of Spirit’s fleet as JetBlue, introducing a superior onboard experience for Spirit customers.

“While JetBlue and Spirit are different in many ways, we also have a lot in common, including a focus on keeping our costs low so we can expand profitably and offer an attractive alternative to the dominant ‘Big Four’ airlines. We would conduct a complete review of Spirit’s product offering, operational and customer technology, and talent pool to optimize the combined airline,” Hayes said.

It builds on its Northeast alliance with American Airlines while further deepening JetBlue’s commitment to New York and Florida
JetBlue has established deep roots in New York, where it has long been New York’s Hometown Airline®. The combined company would retain the JetBlue brand and continue to be headquartered in New York City.

Through its successful Northeast Alliance (NEA) with American Airlines, JetBlue is currently experiencing significant growth in New York and Boston. In the New York area, JetBlue plans to grow from 200 to nearly 300 daily flights at JFK, LaGuardia and Newark airports this year. JetBlue’s expanded presence is already significantly benefiting the community, with plans to hire 5,000 new crewmembers in the New York-New Jersey region this year and offer travelers in and out of the New York and Boston areas more choice , low fares and the JetBlue award: winning experience. The combination with Spirit would complement the NEA’s positive impact in the Northeast by similarly expanding JetBlue’s presence across the country.

JetBlue has a long history in Florida, beginning with the airline’s first commercial flight in 2000 between New York and Fort Lauderdale. With Spirit’s current headquarters in the Fort Lauderdale area and presence at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL), JetBlue would have an opportunity to deepen its long-standing commitment to Florida. Both Fort Lauderdale and Orlando are JetBlue focus cities, and its subsidiary JetBlue Travel Products, best known for its fast-growing JetBlue Vacations and Paisly product offerings, is also based in the Fort Lauderdale area. The combined airline would offer more than 170 daily flights on FLL, increasing JetBlue’s relevance as a stronger low-fare competitor in South Florida. At Orlando International Airport (MCO),

“Our Northeast Alliance with American Airlines has fueled our growth in New York and Boston, unlocking opportunities for us to grow where we couldn’t before. We see a combination with Spirit as a perfect complement to NEA. These strategic moves are intended to increase our relevance and extend JetBlue’s competitive edge to more places while deepening our roots in the communities we call home. Throughout the pandemic, Florida has been a bright spot for JetBlue, and this would offer us the opportunity to hire even more crew members in the state, increase FLL and MCO service for our customers, and further expand our presence in the training and support center”. Hayes said.