Spirit Announces Furloughs after Biden, Court Scuttle Merger with JetBlue

Photo Credit: Getty

In the wake of an adverse court ruling and a Biden administration threat to stop a merger between budget airlines Spirit Airlines and JetBlue, the deal fell through and Spirit said on April 8 it would furlough an estimated 260 pilots (among other actions) in an effort to boost the company’s liquidity. CEI antitrust expert Jessica Melugin criticized the Biden administration for doing its part to make it harder for businesses like Spirit to succeed.

“Now that Spirit Airlines has decided to furlough 260 pilots, it makes one wonder if the Biden administration still considers the blocking of this merger as a win for consumers, workers, or the U.S. economy. What might have been different if Spirit were allowed to combine resources and increase efficiencies by merging with JetBlue? We can’t know for sure, and that’s the larger problem with antitrust regulation: it’s hard to measure benefits that were never allowed to occur.” 

Related analysis:

Regulators block JetBlue/Spirit airlines merger, making it harder for small airlines to scale up and compete