The Biden administration’s fight against consolidation in the airline industry is being tested Tuesday as lawyers for JetBlue Airways and the Justice Department squared off in court.
As the trial began with opening statements from lawyers for sides, shares of JetBlue were falling to their lowest levels in more than a decade after the airline reported a wider loss than expected in the third quarter and predicted another surprisingly large loss for the fourth quarter.
The Justice Department is fresh off victory in a previous lawsuit that killed a partnership between JetBlue and American Airlines AAL, -0.27%. But if JetBlue gets its way, it will grow its fleet about 70%, repaint Spirit’s yellow planes and make them less cramped inside. headtopics.com
The Justice Department argues, however, that Spirit is the disruptive force that needs to be protected. JetBlue says the vacuum left by Spirit would be filled by growth from other discount airlines. The Justice Department says that is unlikely because all airlines, including the budget carriers, face limits to growth including shortages of planes and pilots.
This isn’t the first time that the government has challenged an airline merger. In 2013, regulators sued to stop the merger of American Airlines and US Airways. The deal, which created the world’s biggest carrier, went through without a trial, however, after the airlines agreed to give up some gates and takeoff and landing rights at seven major airports. headtopics.com
The Biden administration may be having remorse for mergers that the Obama administration allowed to go through and which eliminated Northwest, Continental, US Airways and AirTran as competitors to the four largest U.S. airlines.
US Seeks to Block JetBlue, Spirit Merger at TrialThe Biden administration’s fight against consolidation in the airline industry will be tested Tuesday with lawyers for JetBlue Airways and the Justice Department squaring off in court.The administration is suing to block JetBlue’s proposed $3.8 billion acquisition of Spirit… Read more ⮕