JetBlue Finally Bought Spirit Airlines for $3.8 Billion

The sale will make JetBlue one of the largest airlines in the country.

JetBlue has officially acquired Spirit, after months of a rather messy and public exchange with Frontier, who also had interest in adding the signature yellow airplanes to its fleet. JetBlue previously attempted to outbid Frontier with an all-cash offer—but has successfully acquired the company in a $3.8 billion purchase of Spirit’s stock. Now, the two combined airlines will have a total of 458 aircraft, and more than 1,700 daily flights.

"We are excited to deliver this compelling combination that turbocharges our strategic growth, enabling JetBlue to bring our unique blend of low fares and exceptional service to more customers, on more routes," JetBlue CEO Robin Hayes said in a news release. "We look forward to welcoming Spirit's outstanding Team Members to JetBlue and together creating a customer-centric, fifth-largest carrier in the United States."

With the purchase of Spirit Airlines, JetBlue will now have focus in Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, San Juan, and Los Angeles, as well as the major airline hubs in Las Vegas, Dallas, Houston, Chicago, Detroit, Atlanta, and Miami. Both airlines will continue to operate separately until the deal closes, so you will still be seeing the bright yellow in the skies for now.

It truly does feel like the end of an era, as Spirit Airlines has been the face of budget flying for so long now. But hopefully, the new, larger JetBlue will offer even more competitive fares and varied routes, so flying in the future will be easier and more affordable.

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Opheli Garcia Lawler is a Staff Writer on the News team at Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter @opheligarcia and Instagram @opheligarcia.