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Meeting to determine future of Spirit Airlines delayed

Spirit Airlines is to give more time to consider rival bids from Frontier and JetBlue.

A special meeting of Spirit shareholders planned for today (Thursday) to consider the merger with Frontier has been reconvened for July 8.

The Florida-based ultra low-cost carrier wants extra time to continue discussions with both Frontier and JetBlue.

However, Spirit chief executive Ted Christie continues to urge shareholders to vote for the merger with Denver-based Frontier.

It is the second time Spirit has pushed back the meeting which was originally scheduled for June 10.

The latest delay comes as JetBlue seeks to convince Spirit shareholders to reject the Frontier offer, and go with its unsolicited takeover bid. 

JetBlue chief executive Robin Hayes said: “We compliment the Spirit board for listening to their shareholders, who clearly were not supportive of the Frontier transaction, and adjourning the special meeting. 

“We look forward to commencing a constructive and substantive dialogue with them.”

While the Spirit board of directors has not yet walked away from the Frontier transaction, he claimed shareholders had provided “an undeniable mandate” to reach an agreement with JetBlue. 

But Frontier said ahead of the meeting delay: “Our transaction will increase output and reduce prices by bringing ultra-low fares to more routes in competition with larger, higher cost, higher fare airlines. 

“A combined Frontier and Spirit will stimulate demand by inducing people to fly when the high fares offered by JetBlue and the ‘Big Four’ would otherwise price them out of the market.”

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