JetBlue and Allegiant Announce Divestiture Agreement in Connection with JetBlue’s Combination with Spirit
Divestitures Help Promote the Continued Growth of Ultra-Low-Cost Options at Boston Logan, Newark Liberty International, and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood Airports
JetBlue Airways Corporation (Nasdaq: JBLU) and Allegiant (Nasdaq: ALGT) today announced that the airlines have entered into a definitive agreement under which JetBlue will transfer to Allegiant all of the holdings of Spirit Airlines, Inc. (NYSE: SAVE) at Boston Logan International Airport and Newark Liberty International Airport. JetBlue will also turn over up to five gates and related ground facilities at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport to promote ultra-low-cost carrier growth.
On June 1, JetBlue announced that it will divest all of Spirit’s holdings at New York’s LaGuardia Airport to Frontier. Together, these divestitures are part of JetBlue’s voluntary upfront commitments included in the merger agreement with Spirit and are conditioned on the closing of the JetBlue-Spirit transaction.
The divestitures are subject to approval by the local airport authorities as well as FAA/DOT, and are conditioned upon and will occur after the closing of JetBlue’s planned combination with Spirit. JetBlue expects to close the transaction with Spirit in the first half of 2024.
“Over the past twenty years, JetBlue has established itself as a competition MVP, bringing high-quality, affordable service to a wide variety of travelers across the United States,” said Robin Hayes, chief executive officer, JetBlue. “Merging with Spirit will allow us to bring our signature service and low fares to even more people and places across the country and beyond. Our divestiture commitment, while not needed to ensure the continued growth of the vibrant ultra-low-cost carrier segment, is aimed at removing any doubt of our commitment to promoting competition.”
“We are committed to long-term growth, especially in areas such as New York, Boston and Florida. This agreement will allow us to expand our service in these cities and ensure that customers have even more access to affordable, nonstop flights for their travel needs,” said Drew Wells, chief revenue officer, Allegiant.
Under the terms of the agreement, JetBlue has agreed to transfer to Allegiant all of Spirit’s holdings in Boston and Newark, principally consisting of two gates in Boston, two gates in Newark, and 43 takeoff and landing authorizations in Newark. In addition, JetBlue has agreed to relinquish up to five gates at Fort Lauderdale to the Broward County Aviation Department and will work closely with the Department to facilitate Allegiant’s ULCC growth at FLL using these gates.
JetBlue is New York's Hometown Airline®, and a leading carrier in Boston, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood, Los Angeles, Orlando, and San Juan. JetBlue, known for its low fares and great service, carries customers to more than 100 destinations throughout the United States, Latin America, Caribbean, Canada, and Europe. For more information and the best fares, visit jetblue.com.
Las Vegas-based Allegiant (Nasdaq: ALGT) is an integrated travel company with an airline at its heart, focused on connecting customers with the people, places and experiences that matter most. Since 1999, Allegiant Air has linked travelers in small-to-medium cities to world-class destinations with all-nonstop flights and industry-low average fares. Today, Allegiant serves communities across the nation, with base airfares less than half the cost of the average domestic roundtrip ticket. For more information, visit us at Allegiant.com. Media information, including photos, is available at http://gofly.us/iiFa303wrtF.
Forward Looking Statements (Allegiant)
Under the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, statements in this press release that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are only estimates or predictions based on our management's beliefs and assumptions and on information currently available to our management. Forward-looking statements include our statements regarding future airline operations, revenue, expenses and earnings, available seat mile growth, expected capital expenditures, the cost of fuel, the timing of aircraft acquisitions and retirements, the number of contracted aircraft to be placed in service in the future, our ability to consummate announced aircraft transactions, the implementation of a joint alliance with Viva Aerobus, the capital expenditures budget for completion of our Sunseeker Resort, as well as other information concerning future results of operations, business strategies, financing plans, industry environment and potential growth opportunities. Forward-looking statements include all statements that are not historical facts and can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as the words "believe," "expect," "guidance," "anticipate," "intend," "plan," "estimate", "project", "hope" or similar expressions.
Forward-looking statements involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions. Actual results may differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements. Important risk factors that could cause our results to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements generally may be found in our periodic reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission at www.sec.gov. These risk factors include, without limitation, the impact of Hurricane Ian on our Florida markets and completion of Sunseeker Resort, the impact and duration of the COVID-19 pandemic on airline travel and the economy, an accident involving, or problems with, our aircraft, public perception of our safety, our reliance on our automated systems, our reliance on third parties to deliver aircraft under contract to us on a timely basis, risk of breach of security of personal data, volatility of fuel costs, labor issues and costs, the ability to obtain regulatory approvals as needed , the effect of economic conditions on leisure travel, debt covenants and balances, the impact of government regulations on the airline industry, the ability to finance aircraft to be acquired, the ability to obtain necessary government approvals to implement the announced alliance with Viva Aerobus and to otherwise prepare to offer international service, terrorist attacks, risks inherent to airlines, our competitive environment, our reliance on third parties who provide facilities or services to us, the impact of management changes and the possible loss of key personnel, economic and other conditions in markets in which we operate, the ability to successfully develop a resort in Southwest Florida, increases in maintenance costs, cyclical and seasonal fluctuations in our operating results, and the perceived acceptability of our environmental, social and governance efforts.
Any forward-looking statements are based on information available to us today and we undertake no obligation to update publicly any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of future events, new information or otherwise.
Forward Looking Statements (JetBlue)
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 995, as amended. We intend such forward-looking statements to be covered by the safe harbor provisions for forward-looking statements contained in Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”), and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, (the “Exchange Act”). All statements other than statements of historical facts contained in this press release may be forward-looking statements. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by terms such as “expects,” “plans,” “intends,” “anticipates,” “indicates,” “remains,” “believes,” “estimates,” “forecast,” “guidance,” “outlook,” “may,” “will,” “should,” “seeks,” “goals,” “targets” or the negative of these terms or other similar expressions. Additionally, forward-looking statements include statements that do not relate solely to historical facts, such as statements which identify uncertainties or trends, discuss the possible future effects of current known trends or uncertainties, or which indicate that the future effects of known trends or uncertainties cannot be predicted, guaranteed, or assured. Forward-looking statements involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions, and are based on information currently available to us. Actual results may differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements due to many factors, including, without limitation, the COVID-19 pandemic and government-imposed measures to control its spread; risk associated with execution of our strategic operating plans in the near-term and long-term; our extremely competitive industry; risks related to the long-term nature of our fleet order book; volatility in fuel prices and availability of fuel; increased maintenance costs associated with fleet age; costs associated with salaries, wages and benefits; risks associated with doing business internationally; our reliance on high daily aircraft utilization; our dependence on the New York metropolitan market; risks associated with extended interruptions or disruptions in service at our focus cities; risks associated with airport expenses; risks associated with seasonality and weather; our reliance on a limited number of suppliers; risks related to new or increased tariffs imposed on commercial aircraft and related parts imported from outside the United States; the outcome of legal proceedings with respect to our Northeast Alliance with American Airlines Group Inc. and our planned wind-down of the Northeast Alliance; the occurrence of any event, change or other circumstances that could give rise to the right of JetBlue or Spirit Airlines, Inc. (“Spirit”) or both of them to terminate the Merger Agreement; failure to obtain certain governmental approvals necessary to consummate the merger with Spirit (the “Merger”); the outcome of the lawsuit filed by the Department of Justice and certain state Attorneys General against us and Spirit related to the Merger; risks associated with failure to consummate the Merger in a timely manner or at all; risks associated with the pendency of the Merger and related business disruptions; indebtedness following consummation of the Merger and associated impacts on business flexibility, borrowing costs and credit ratings; the possibility that JetBlue may be unable to achieve expected synergies and operating efficiencies within the expected timeframes or at all; challenges associated with successful integration of Spirit’s operations; expenses related to the Merger and integration of Spirit; the potential for loss of management personnel and other key crewmembers as a result of the Merger; risks associated with effective management of the combined company following the Merger; risks associated with JetBlue being bound by all obligations and liabilities of the combined company following consummation of the Merger; risks associated with the integration of JetBlue and Spirit workforce, including with respect to negotiation of labor agreements and labor costs; the impact of the Merger on JetBlue’s earnings per share; risks associated with cybersecurity and privacy, including information security breaches; heightened regulatory requirements concerning data security compliance; risks associated with reliance on, and potential failure of, automated systems to operate our business; our inability to attract and retain qualified crewmembers; our being subject to potential unionization, work stoppages, slowdowns or increased labor costs; reputational and business risk from an accident or incident involving our aircraft; risks associated with damage to our reputation and the JetBlue brand name; our significant amount of fixed obligations and the ability to service such obligations; our substantial indebtedness and impact on our ability to meet future financing needs; financial risks associated with credit card processors; restrictions as a result of our participation in governmental support programs under the CARES Act, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, and the American Rescue Plan Act; risks associated with seeking short-term additional financing liquidity; failure to realize the full value of intangible or long-lived assets, causing us to record impairments; risks associated with disease outbreaks or environmental disasters affecting travel behavior; compliance with future environmental regulations; the impacts of federal budget constraints or federally imposed furloughs; impact of global climate change and legal, regulatory or market response to such change; changes in government regulations in our industry; acts of war or terrorism; changes in global economic conditions or an economic downturn leading to a continuing or accelerated decrease in demand for air travel; and risks associated with the implementation of 5G wireless technology near airports that we operate in. It is routine for our internal projections and expectations to change as the year or each quarter in the year progresses, and therefore it should be clearly understood that the internal projections, beliefs, and assumptions upon which we base our expectations may change prior to the end of each quarter or year. Any outlook or forecasts in this press release have been prepared without taking into account or consideration of the Merger with Spirit.
Given the risks and uncertainties surrounding forward-looking statements, you should not place undue reliance on these statements. You should understand that many important factors, in addition to those discussed or incorporated by reference in this press release, could cause our results to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements. Further information concerning these and other factors is contained in JetBlue’s filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”), including but not limited to, JetBlue’s 2022 Annual Report on Form 10-K and Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q. In light of these risks and uncertainties, the forward-looking events discussed in this press release might not occur. Our forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this press release. Other than as required by law, we undertake no obligation to update or revise forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.