The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA) announced  an agreement with Frontier Airlines that ensures job, seniority and conctract protection for both Frontier and Spirit Airlines (S64) (SAVE) cabin crew if a merger of the two carriers goes ahead. 

In the statement on May 17, 2022, AFA explained that the Merger Transition Agreement guarantees that the carriers will not merge their operations "until a joint collective bargaining agreement is negotiated and ratified by the combined Frontier and Spirit AFA Flight Attendant members." .  

The agreement also specifies "separate operations with Flight Attendant staffing tied to respective aircraft designated at the time of the merger as Frontier or Spirit respective operations. This protects current jobs and maintains interest for management to reach a joint agreement". 

The union said the agreement also means  cabin crew can’t be furloughed if Frontier or Spirit routes change during the merger process. In addition, "new hire flight attendants obtain all of the contractual and seniority rights afforded under the contract designated for their hiring by Spirit or Frontier prior to operational integration". 

According to  AFA president Sara Nelson, the transition agreement will protect flight attendant jobs and “pave the way for efficient contract bargaining that allows flight attendants to experience the benefits of the merger as soon as possible.” 

“We support the necessary regulatory approvals that will improve competition, increase consumer options and experience, and maintain and grow good union jobs,“ Sara Nelson said. 

While the cabin crew union supports the planned merger between Spirit and Frontier, the deal has not yet been approved by shareholders or regulatirs. Furthermore, rival low cost carrier JetBlue (JBLU) is also seeking to upset the deal by making a hostile bid for Spirit.  

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JetBlue is calling on Spirit shareholders to vote against the carrier’s plans to merge with Frontier, saying its offer is better