JetBlue reaches deal to buy Spirit for $3.8 billion

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FILE – A Spirit Airlines jet approaches Philadelphia International Airport in Philadelphia, Pa., on Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. Spirit announced on Thursday, July 7, 2022, that it would again postpone a vote on the proposed merger with Frontier, a sign that it lacks shareholder support for the merger in the face of a rival bid by JetBlue Airways. Spirit delayed the vote by a week, until July 15. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

JetBlue is buying Spirit Airlines for $3.8 billion, creating the nation’s fifth largest airline.

The agreement Thursday comes a day after Spirit’s attempt to merge with Frontier Airlines fell apart.

JetBlue will acquire Spirit for $33.50 per share in cash, including a prepayment of $2.50 per share in cash payable once Spirit stockholders approve the transaction. There’s also a ticking fee of 10 cents per month starting in January 2023 through closing.

The combined airline will have a fleet of 458 aircraft. The airlines will continue to operate independently until after the transaction closes.

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