CLEVELAND (WJW) – JetBlue has made an offer to buy Spirit Airlines, putting a plan for Spirit to merge with Frontier Airlines in limbo.
So, what does either merger mean for Cleveland Hopkins International Airport and people who fly out of Northeast Ohio?
“We learned about it when the rest of the world learned about it,” said John Hogan, deputy chief at the airport.
Hogan reacted to the news that JetBlue is trying to buy Spirit Airlines and torpedo a plan for Spirit to merge with Frontier.
“I am watching this closely along with the rest of the management here at the airport,” said Hogan.
Spirit announced it will talk to JetBlue about the airline’s $3.6 billion bid to combine the two.
Back in February, Spirit and Frontier announced a $2.9 billion deal.
“This would basically create the largest carrier here at the airport and I really don’t see any negatives to it,” said Hogan.
According to Hogan, the Frontier-Spirit plan would have a larger economic impact on Northeast Ohio than the JetBlue-Spirit one.
And if Frontier and Spirit were to combine, Hogan said it would have more passengers at the airport than United Airlines, based on 2021 numbers.
“Everyone knows that staffing is an issue and this could lead to additional destinations, more jobs,” said Hogan.
Meanwhile, a JetBlue-Spirit merger could also mean more flights out of Cleveland.
Hogan said Hopkins is rebounding faster than the national average.