Spirit Airlines could get word about the future of its pending merger with JetBlue soon.
The ultra-low-cost carrier this week on its fourth-quarter earnings call said that it anticipates hearing from the Department of Justice (DOJ) in the next 30 days or so.
After agreeing to the deal in June 2022, both carriers had “certified substantial compliance” with a second DOJ request in December and now await word about whether or not the DOJ will want to block the deal.
“We announced in December 2022 that Spirit and JetBlue had certified substantial compliance with the DOJ's second request and are now waiting to see whether the DOJ filed suit to block the deal or allows us to proceed. We anticipate hearing from the DOJ in the next 30 days or so and that's really all we have to say on that topic for now,” DeAnne Gable, the senior director of investor relations for Spirit said this week.
There remain a ton of regulatory hurdles with the merger, some of which Spirit cited when it was trying to persuade shareholders to back the deal with Frontier Airlines instead during the bidding process. Those include JetBlue’s Northeast Alliance with American, which was just recently expanded and is something that has already earned the ire of lawmakers.
JetBlue, for its part, has previously said that it does not expect the deal to be completed before the end of 2023.