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JetBlue expects $700m savings from Spirit takeover

JetBlue expects to achieve up to $700 million in annual savings on completion of the $3.8 billion takeover of US budget rival Spirit Airlines.

New York-based JetBlue believes synergies will be driven in “large part” by expanded customer offerings resulting from the greater breadth and depth of the combined network. 

The combined airline will have a 458-strong fleet and an order book of more than 300 Airbus aircraft.

The merged group will offer its combined 77 million customers more options and choices.

It will accelerate JetBlue’s organic growth plan with 1,700 daily flights to more than 125 destinations in 30 countries based on December 2022 schedules.

The projection came as JetBlue reported a second quarter pre-tax loss of $188 million against a profit of $64 million in the same period last year as operating costs rose by almost 35%.

Chief executive Robin Hayes projected a return to “sustained profitability” in he second half of the year.

He said: “We’re embarking on a new plan to keep our costs low, focused on cross-functional costs and applying best practices with respect to operational and planning efficiencies.”

Hayes described the deal with Spirit as creating “a true, national low-fare challenger” to the dominant big four US airlines. 

“Together we will expand our uniquely disruptive combination of award-winning service and competitive low fares to more customers across the country as we combine the best of both airlines,” he added.

“We reported a record-breaking revenue result for the second quarter, and we’re on pace to top it again here in the third quarter and drive our first quarterly profit since the start of the pandemic.”

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