JetBlue concedes Spirit‘s New York LaGuardia slots and gates to Frontier Airlines

JetBlue will concede Spirit Airlines' assets at LaGuardia Airport (LGA) to Frontier Airlines
Evan El-Amin /

JetBlue has announced that it has entered into an agreement with Frontier Airlines regarding some Spirit Airlines assets at New York LaGuardia Airport (LGA). 

The definitive agreement will see JetBlue conceding all of Spirit Airlines’ slots and gates at LGA to Frontier Airlines, once regulators clear the JetBlue and Spirit Airlines merger. In total, Frontier Airlines will receive 22 landing and takeoff slots and six gates at the Marine Air Terminal. 

“We are committed to ensuring our combination with Spirit preserves ultra low-cost carrier access in New York,” said Robin Hayes, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of JetBlue. “We are pleased that this agreement with Frontier will maintain the same level of ultra low-cost carrier service at LaGuardia Airport,” Hayes added. 

The giving away of slots and gates will be subject to approval of the port Authority of New York and New Jersey, as well as the United States (US) Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the US Department of Transportation (DOT). 

“It will enable us to significantly expand our operations at LaGuardia and deliver even more ‘Low Fares Done Right’ to consumers in the greater New York City area,” said Barry Biffle, the President and CEO of Frontier Airlines. 

JetBlue swooped in and announced that it will acquire Spirit Airlines despite the latter still having a merger agreement with Frontier Airlines in July 2022. Since then, the two airlines have reiterated their goal to finish the merger procedures by H1 2024, even with the US Department of Justice (DOJ) announcing that it would sue the merger. 

The DOJ proceeded to do so, with the two sides set to go to court in October 2023. 

In March 2023, when the DOJ announced its intentions to sue the merger, Merrick Garland, the US Attorney General, said: “As our complaint alleges, the merger of JetBlue and Spirit would result in higher fares and fewer choices for tens of millions of travelers, with the greatest impact felt by those who rely on what are known as ultra-low-cost carriers in order to fly.”  

Previously, a judge in the US ruled that the Northeast Alliance, comprised of American Airlines and JetBlue, would have to be dismantled within 30 days from May 19, 2023. US District Court for the District of Massachusetts Judge Leo Sorokin ruled that the alliance “operating as it was designed and intended by American and JetBlue, substantially diminishes competition in the domestic market for air travel”. 

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