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Frontier’s acquisition of Spirit means there’s one fewer cheap airline

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Frontier Airlines plans to acquire Spirit Airlines, both of which are known for offering cheaper flights than other airlines, in a deal worth $6.6 billion, the two companies announced Monday. While Frontier and Spirit claim they will become “America’s most competitive ultra-low fare airline,” the acquisition will ultimately remove one airline from the market and potentially create less competition for more affordable flights.

That said, it’s not as if the new company will be small potatoes — the combined Frontier / Spirit airline will be the fifth-largest airline in the US, according to CNBC — so perhaps the new company will be able to better compete against bigger rivals with lower prices. But the wireless market hasn’t dramatically changed after T-Mobile’s acquisition of Sprint (and we’re still waiting on Dish to launch its promised 5G network to create more competition), so it remains to be seen if the combined Frontier / Spirit airline will make a big difference for consumers.

The acquisition is expected to close in the second half of 2022, pending regulatory approval and the approval of Spirit’s stockholders, according to a press release. No name, headquarters, or management team was given for the new combined company, though a committee led by Frontier’s board chair will determine those “prior to close.”



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