JetBlue and Spirit Confident that the Proposed Merger is Procompetitive

MIRAMAR – JetBlue Airways Corporation (“JetBlue”) (NASDAQ: JBLU) and Spirit Airlines, Inc. (“Spirit”) (NYSE: SAVE) today responded to the filing of a complaint by the U.S. Department of Justice (the “DOJ”) seeking to block the companies’ merger:

JetBlue and Spirit will continue to advance our plan to create a compelling national challenger to the Big Four airlines, which control about 80% of the market after years of industry consolidation that the DOJ itself approved. By coming together, we will expand JetBlue’s unique offering – where customers do not have to choose between a low fare and a great experience – to boost competition nationally.

JetBlue has proven its ability to force the legacy carriers to react to JetBlue’s low fares and award-winning service. The DOJ itself said that “In the face of consolidation, JetBlue has provided an important and steadfast source of competition” and that “JetBlue’s reputation for lowering fares is so well known in the airline industry that it has earned a name: the ‘JetBlue Effect.’” (a).

Competitive Marketplace

JetBlue CEO Robin Hayes said: “Customers deserve a competitive airline marketplace and we will pursue this merger to ensure they get it, continuing to disrupt the legacy airlines with low fares and award-winning service that even the DOJ has applauded. We believe the DOJ has got it wrong on the law here and misses the point that this merger will create a national low-fare, high-quality competitor to the Big Four carriers which – thanks to their own DOJ-approved mergers – control about 80% of the U.S. market. There is too much at stake for the DOJ to prevent us from bringing the JetBlue difference to more customers in more markets.”

Benefit to Consumers

Spirit CEO Ted Christie said: “We disagree with the DOJ’s decision to seek to block the proposed merger, which will benefit consumers and employees. We will vigorously defend our position that a combined JetBlue and Spirit will be a game changer for customers nationwide, creating the most compelling national low-fare challenger to the dominant U.S. carriers. Together, we intend to democratize flying for travelers across the country – a goal we believe is worthy of the government’s support.”

ULCC Market Will Continue to Thrive as JetBlue Brings Much-Loved, Award-Winning Experience to Spirit Aircraft

Customers will win with both more JetBlue service and continued ultra-low-cost carrier (ULCC) expansion. JetBlue competes for all customers, and its Blue Basic fare offers customers a competitive, low-price option to save more money. In addition, because many Spirit aircraft will continue to fly in their current configuration during the retrofitting process after the transaction closes, there will be no short-term change in capacity.

As JetBlue retrofits Spirit’s aircraft with its leading customer-focused experience (e.g., adding more leg room and other onboard amenities), the combined airline will also be able to meaningfully increase aircraft utilization, offsetting seats removed in the retrofitting process by adding more flights. This will result in more seats with Blue Basic fares, and coupled with the rapid growth of the ULCCs, will create a more competitive environment and ongoing access for the most price-sensitive customers.

Hayes continued: “Putting the JetBlue’s increased legroom and free amenities on Spirit aircraft is a big win for consumers, and we can offset any loss of seats with increased flying and through ULCC growth. You shouldn’t have to choose between a low fare and a great experience, so the government should celebrate an expansion of JetBlue’s low fares and customer favorites like the most legroom in coach, free Wi-Fi, live seatback TV, and free snacks coming to Spirit’s fleet.”

Settlement Resolves Concerns About Florida; Ensures New Jobs and Additional Flights

We are extremely pleased to secure a settlement with the State of Florida supporting the merger between JetBlue and Spirit. The agreement ensures that the merger will deliver new jobs in Florida as JetBlue adds its low-fare flights in airports across the state.

Hayes said: “We’re appreciative of Florida State Attorney General Moody’s willingness to recognize the opportunity for consumers and negotiate a fair settlement. It’s unfortunate the federal government and other states want to block the benefits of this merger, including significant job growth and the increased number of affordable flights that this combination unlocks.”

In fact, all JetBlue crewmembers and Spirit Team Members will benefit from a larger, more competitive airline:

JetBlue-Spirit Merger Benefits Are Clear and Have Wide Support

The benefits of a JetBlue and Spirit combination have been widely recognized by consumer advocates, labor leaders, legislators, local government officials, industry experts, and academics. In addition, thousands of JetBlue crewmembers and Spirit Team Members have submitted letters of support to the DOJ and the U.S. Department of Transportation. We are confident a court, too, will recognize the merits of our case.

The rationale for a JetBlue-Spirit combination is clear:

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