Frontier Airlines makes its last play for Spirit Airlines merger

Photo (c) Devasahayam Chandra Dhas - Getty Images

The company's CEO says he has made his best and final offer

The Frontier-Spirit-JetBlue saga is not quite over yet. According to CNBC, Frontier Airlines has asked Spirit Airlines to delay a shareholder vote on their planned merger for just a little longer.

In a letter that Frontier CEO Barry Biffle sent to his peers at Spirit, he called his airline’s most recent upgraded cash-and-stock bid the “last, best and final” offer.

However, the real reason seems to be that Spirit’s stockholders aren’t fully buying into the Frontier purchase. “We still remain very far from obtaining approval from Spirit stockholders,” Biffle admitted in the letter.

Where will this all stop?

This merger saga has been packed with twists and turns. Spirit spurned JetBlue’s advances three times, but it decided last week that it would give new consideration to the larger carrier's proposal. Spirit's board pushed back a shareholder vote so that it could have one more round of talks with both airlines and take the temperature of its stockholders. For it's part, Frontier would like for all of this to come to a close too.

“As has been the case throughout this process, we remain committed to this transaction,” Biffle wrote in his letter to Spirit. “However, should the Spirit Board of Directors conclude that it would instead desire to pursue an alternative transaction with JetBlue, we would appreciate being advised of that determination.”

Biffle also reminded Spirit in his letter that a recent decision by the Department of Transportation that granted Spirit an additional 16 slots at Newark Liberty International Airport gave the airline a competitive advantage over JetBlue.

“The path to regulatory approval of a JetBlue-Spirit combination seems more impossible by the day,” he wrote.

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