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JetBlue goes hostile with tender offer for Spirit Airlines

JetBlue land operations and boarding in Owen Roberts Intl. Airport in Grand Cayman Islands

LeoPatrizi/iStock Unreleased via Getty Images

JetBlue (NASDAQ:JBLU) is launching a hostile takeover attempt for discount carrier Spirit Airlines (NYSE:SAVE) after the latter rejected its $3.6B offer in favor of an existing deal with Frontier Airlines (NASDAQ:

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Comments (25)

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craftbrewinfo profile picture
Battle of the bottom feeders! May the least more terrible carrier win !
@craftbrewinfo like the US 2 party system!
I'm retired with 50+ years in the Aviation industry. Shortcutting Sim time/flight hours training is highly unsafe for the flying public just to increase the Pilot pool. Downright crazy to even suggest this.
@Conejo77 I can certainly attest to this behavior in 91k and all 135. The pilot crunch will make bad hiring and training attitudes proliferate. Atlas comes to mind in 121.
If you are a pilot, you would have qualified under the "250 hour rule" which was raised too 1,500 hours in 2013. In addition, pilots have to have supplemental certification and simulator training.

The question of the "right" number of hours is debatable. 250 was too short and contributed to a crash while 1,500 places a large burden on potential new pilots and airlines.
@Akutan Remember Atlas well. Mark is correct 250 hours is inadequate for a Pilot to be turned loose in a cockpit with Pax onboard. 1500 hrs may put a burden on the Al/Pilots but there is no excuse to cut corners when it comes to safety.
How do I give Jetblue my shares for $30? I'm in.
Tim Dunn profile picture
@Lightningrules You might want to sit tight and listen to SAVE's board and many aviation experts.

First, tell the DOJ that the Northeast Alliance with AAL doesn't matter - they are already suing AAL and JBLU. SAVE rightly believes that the chances of getting a merger with JBLU through while the DOJ is also challenging AAL/JBLU are very slim and will take a long, long time.
As a SAVE stockholder, you should take the ULCC merger which is far more certain to close and do so much, much faster.
@Tim Dunn

So that was the Delta airlines corporate communications response there...

A weaker JB is good for Delta, so the only thing you will hear from Tim Dunn are "reasons" not to take the JB deal.

Spirit's BOD is looking out for Spirit's BOD, not their shareholders. No airline outside of the big 3 have had to deal with the US political/regulatory system as much as JB. They know what they can get passed/through DOJ and know what they are willing to do to make it happen, even if they keep their cards close to the vest, and rightfully so.
Agreed, the voices immediately discounting the acquisition of the #7 airline by the #6 airline are just pushing their own self interests.

With depressed stock prices for all airlines and the airlines in this deal, a stock swap just does not make sense for the Spirit BOD to approve.

Even on CNBC, the voices are immediately discounting the possibility acquisition of the relatively small airlines. The level of assuredness that the JetBlue deal will not happen is not in line with reality as the case is made that the two smaller airlines will be stronger competitors together.

In any case, the business models for the low cost airlines are leading to continued growth at rates the big-3 simply cannot match. With growth, margins are compressed as markets develop, but as market share is achieved that difference will hurt the big-3.
bigstrike profile picture
"relaxing training programs, or reducing flight-hour requirements"
Hiring skilled and experienced pilots doesn't seem to be a concern so why not add diversity-equity hiring to the mix, too?
baibeiye profile picture
JetBlue is terrible. Using shitty strategy to undermine spirit and frontier merge. If JetBlue wins, airfare will up bad for Americans.
@baibeiye and if Spirit & Frontier Wins. The flying will be forever a shitty experience with fold-able plastic lawn seats & 6" legroom for the combined airline.
baibeiye profile picture
@klabalpha79 I am fine with Spirit experience. $40 ticket is attractive. You always pay more using other airlines as there are so many airlines out there.

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