There is renewed speculation that Frontier and Spirit airlines might merge, according to published reports.
A merger rumor involving the two airlines has been circulating for some years. However, it seemed to regain some traction when Spirit replaced Chief Executive Ben Baldanza and named industry veteran Robert Fornaro to the post.
“Following the tremendous growth and success of Spirit over the last 10 years, the Board and I have concluded that this is the right time to implement an orderly succession plan,” Baldanza said in a news release. “Bob is the right choice to lead the Company through its next phase of growth. I want to thank the management team and all our team members for their support and efforts in making Spirit the success that it is today. I am focused on supporting a seamless transition and wish the Company and Bob continued success in the future.”
The last major airline merger involved a pair of national carriers: U.S. Airways and American Airlines.
A merger between Frontier and Spirit could help the low-cost carriers build a more robust network. It could also position them to better compete in some former AirTran Airways strongholds, such as Atlanta, where Southwest Airlines rolled back AirTran flights after it subsumed the carrier.