JetBlue Announces a Deal to Buy Spirit Airlines, Fares could surge

JetBlue Airways on Thursday announced it would purchase Spirit Airlines, a combination that would create America's fifth-largest airline. The announcement comes a day after Spirit pulled the plug on a deal to merge with Frontier.

JetBlue had been pursuing a hostile bid for Spirit even while Spirit sought shareholder approval for a lower-priced deal with Frontier. Spirit had continually expressed concern whether regulators would approve a deal with JetBlue. But shareholders had balked at accepting Frontier's less-valuable cash-and-stock offer when they had JetBlue's all-cash offer on the table.

JetBlue CEO Robin Hayes said the deal will be fruitful for investors and passengers. "We are excited to deliver this compelling combination that turbocharges our strategic growth, enabling JetBlue to bring our unique blend of low fares and exceptional service to more customers, on more routes," he said in a statement.