“We’ve been following this for quite some time,” said John Hogan, deputy chief at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport.
Hogan said he believes the sale of Spirit Airlines to JetBlue translates into more flights at the airport.
“Spirit had about 12% of the market prior to this announcement. Once it’s all settled, it will go up to about 14% of the market,” said Hogan.
The announcement came just one day after Spirit’s attempt to merge with Frontier Airlines fell apart.
At the airport, JetBlue flies to Boston while Spirit flies to nine other destinations.
“If it was Frontier, there would have been scrutiny on the replication of flights. With the JetBlue merger, here in Cleveland, there is no redundancy and only opens up the option for more JetBlue flights,” said Hogan.
One thing that the airport hopes to happen once the merger is complete is a non-stop from Cleveland to JFK.
Federal regulators still have to approve the deal, but Hogan said he does not believe the merger will result in any flight reductions at Hopkins in the meantime.
“Because there is no redundancy and all the flights are full. With more capacity that each airline is able to offer as a combined airline, we are looking forward to that because the demand is out there in Northeast Ohio to travel,” said Hogan.
The merger might also affect Akron-Canton Airport because Spirit flies out of there.
According to an airport spokesperson, the carrier is on pause for the summer due to staffing issues. However, Spirit will resume the daily non-stop to Orlando in November. The spokesperson said they anticipate the flight to continue until everything is decided.