Spirit Airlines, Frontier Airlines Merge to Create 'America's Most Competitive Ultra-low Fare Airline'

The new airline will fly more than 1,000 daily flights with plans to expand with more than 350 aircraft.

A Spirit and Frontier airplane in flight
Photo: AaronP/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

Spirit Airlines and Frontier Airlines are merging, creating a large low-cost airline that will fly to more than 145 destinations in 19 countries, the companies shared with Travel + Leisure.

Announced Monday, the two airlines will combine under Frontier's parent company, Frontier Group Holdings, Inc., and create what the carrier has dubbed "America's most competitive ultra-low fare airline." The deal is expected to close in the second half of 2022.

"We are thrilled to join forces with Frontier to further democratize air travel," Ted Christie, the president and CEO of Spirit, said in a statement shared with T+L. "This transaction is centered around creating an aggressive ultra-low fare competitor to serve our guests even better, expand career opportunities for our team members and increase competitive pressure, resulting in more consumer-friendly fares for the flying public."

Once the merger goes through, the new airline will be the country's fifth-largest carrier, The Associated Press reported. The new, combined airline will fly more than 1,000 daily flights with plans to expand with more than 350 aircraft.

It was not immediately clear what the name of the new airline would be.

"This combination is all about growth, opportunities and creating value for everyone – from our Guests to our Team Members to the flying public at large," Mac Gardner, the chairman of the board of Spirit, said in the statement shared with T+L. "We're a perfect fit – our businesses share similar values, including our longstanding commitment to affordable travel. At the same time, we have complementary footprints and fleets, including one of the youngest and greenest fleets worldwide."

The merger announcement comes just days after Frontier Airlines said it would reduce the weight limit for checked bags on its flights to 40 pounds, a move the carrier attributed to its effort to go green. Spirit Airlines also limits checked luggage to 40 pounds.

Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she's not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.

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