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JetBlue Plans on Dumping Spirit’s LaGuardia Assets to Frontier

After losing their bid to keep the Northeast Alliance together, JetBlue is trying to make its merger with Spirit Airlines more attractive by agreeing to drop assets at LaGuardia Airport.
If the JetBlue-Spirit Merger gets approval from regulators, another low-cost carrier could have a bigger presence at New York’s LaGuardia Airport (LGA).


JetBlue announced a plan to divest Spirit’s assets at the airport to the original carrier pursuing the low-cost carrier: Frontier Airlines.


Frontier to Get Six Gates, 22 Takeoff and Landing Slots

Under the tentative agreement, Frontier will get all of Spirit’s current assets at LaGuardia. The package includes six gates at the airport’s Marine Air Terminal and 22 takeoff and landing slots. The transfer is subject to multiple conditions, including the closure of the JetBlue-Spirit deal, approval from the Department of Transportation and the Federal Aviation Administration, and approval from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.


As of Summer 2022, Frontier only held rights to four slots at LaGuardia. If everything moves forward as planned, the merged JetBlue would maintain their original 31 slots at the airport, while Frontier would move up to 26.


“We are committed to ensuring our combination with Spirit preserves ultra low-cost carrier access in New York,” Robin Hayes, chief executive officer of JetBlue, said in a press release. “We are pleased that this agreement with Frontier will maintain the same level of ultra low-cost carrier service at LaGuardia Airport.”


The move comes as the U.S. Department of Justice works to block the merger of the two carriers. The government filed a civil antitrust lawsuit against the two in March 2023, with hearings pending. The Justice Department already has one victory against JetBlue, when a judge ruled that the Northeast Alliance with American Airlines must be dissolved.


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