If you fly Spirit or Frontier Airlines, some things are about to change. Announced today, there will be a $6.6 billion merger of the two airlines. I fly both airlines and I love the low fares they provide.
According to a press release, the companies have not yet decided under which brand the new airline will operate or who will run it. More than 1,000 flights would be offered daily to over 145 destinations under the combined company. Bringing two airlines together that offer low base fares, however, they will charge extra fees for things like carry-on bags and checked bags.
“We are thrilled to join forces with Frontier to further democratize air travel,” Spirit President and CEO Ted Christie said in a statement Monday. I personally like the option of paying $50 for a round trip flight and being able to just bring my personal item. If I am just going for a weekend, it saves me so much for not having to pay additional baggage fees.
Don’t pack your bags just yet. The deal still needs to be approved by U.S. regulators but would create the fifth-largest airline in the United States, according to CNBC. Both airlines currently fly out of the Charlotte-Douglas International Airport. According to the New York Times, the merger is expected to close in the second half of the year, subject to regulatory review and approval by Spirit shareholders. Frontier’s parent company, Frontier Group Holdings, in which the private equity company Indigo Partners has a controlling interest, has approved the deal. This merger will now create America’s fifth-largest airline.