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Two Discount Airlines Announce Merger to Become Fifth Largest in Sector

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Two major U.S. airlines announced Monday that they would merge companies becoming the nation’s fifth-largest airline.

Frontier Group Holdings, Inc. agreed to buy Spirit Airlines, Inc. for $2.9 billion in a cash and stock deal, creating one of the nation’s most competitive ultra-low fare airlines, Frontier announced in a press release.

“We are thrilled to join forces with Frontier to further democratize air travel,” Frontier President and CEO Ted Christie said in the press release. “We are thrilled to join forces with Frontier to further democratize air travel,” said Ted Christie, President and CEO of Spirit. “This transaction is centered around creating an aggressive ultra-low fare competitor to serve our Guests even better, expand career opportunities for our Team Members and increase competitive pressure, resulting in more consumer-friendly fares for the flying public.”

“We look forward to uniting our talented teams to shake up the airline industry while also continuing our commitment to excellent Guest service,” Christie said.

The combined airline is expected to deliver $1 billion in annual consumer savings and offer over 1,000 daily flights to roughly 145 destinations in 19 countries, the press release said. Spirit and Frontier also expect to add approximately 10,000 jobs by 2026.

“This combination is all about growth, opportunities and creating value for everyone – from our Guests to our Team Members to the flying public at large,” Mac Gardner, chairman of Spirit, said in the press release. “We’re a perfect fit – our businesses share similar values, including our longstanding commitment to affordable travel.”

“At the same time, we have complementary footprints and fleets, including one of the youngest and greenest fleets worldwide,” Gardner said. “Together, we will be even more competitive for our Guests and our Team Members, and we are confident we can deliver on the benefits of this combination to consumers.”

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