Flight attendant union backs Spirit-Frontier merger

A Frontier Airlines aircraft passes a Spirit Airlines aircraft at the Indianapolis International Airport in Indianapolis, Indiana on Monday, February 7, 2022.

Luke Sharrett | Bloomberg | Getty Images

The union, which represents the flight attendants of Spirit Airlines and Frontier Airlines, backed the carriers’ planned merger on Tuesday, removing a labor hurdle among the airlines’ largest labor groups.

The Cabin Attendant Association-CWA said it has reached a so-called merger transition agreement with parent company Frontier that prohibits flight attendants from being fired during a merger and also guarantees other safeguards.

“We support the necessary regulatory approvals that will improve competition, enhance consumer opportunities and experiences, and preserve and increase good union jobs,” Sarah Nelson, AFA president, said in a union statement.

The agreement came the day after JetBlue Airways announced a hostile takeover of Spirit. The discount airline rejected JetBlue’s $33 per share offer earlier this month. On Monday, JetBlue made a tender offer at $30 per share and called on Spirit shareholders to vote against the Frontier-Spirit merger at the June 10 meeting.

JetBlue’s flight attendants are represented by the Transport Workers’ Union. Its president, John Samuelsen, told CNBC last month that TWU would be looking to represent the combined group of JetBlue-Spirit flight attendants if that deal went through.

Any combination of airlines must be approved by the Department of Justice.

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