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Smaller Airlines Seek Mergers to Compete With Industry Giants

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Back of planes lined up, all with the JetBlue logo on the back wings.

The New York Times, December 2023

Smaller airlines that operate in the shadow of the nation’s four dominant air carriers are increasingly feeling pressure to merge with others to gain access to more planes and airport gates.

Those dynamics were on display in a federal courtroom in Boston on Tuesday where JetBlue Airways tried to persuade a judge to let it buy Spirit Airlines for $3.8 billion. It was also at play this past weekend when Alaska Airlines proposed acquiring Hawaiian Airlines for $1.9 billion.

The outcome of these deals could be pivotal for the companies and the U.S. airline industry, in which four companies control more than two-thirds of the national market and exert dominance over big airports in places like Atlanta, Dallas-Fort Worth and Newark. If one or both mergers are approved, the deals would be the largest in years.

Continue reading at The New York Times.

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