JetBlue to buy Spirit Airlines for $3.8B

After a deal between Spirit Airlines and Frontier Airlines fell through, a new sale agreement was reached between Spirit and JetBlue.

>> Read more trending news

JetBlue has agreed to buy the low-cost air carrier for $3.8 billion, The Associated Press reported.

The move will create the country’s fifth-largest airline.

JetBlue will pay $33.50 a share in cash, including a prepayment of $2.50 a share in cash when Spirit stockholders approved the deal.

When the deal is done, the airline will have 458 planes in the fleet.

JetBlue and Spirit will operate independently until the deal is finalized.

Spirit CEO Ted Christie said on Wednesday that he was disappointed that the merger with Frontier Airlines fell through but that his company was looking to merge with JetBlue.

“The Spirit board of directors will continue our ongoing discussions with JetBlue as we pursue the best path forward for Spirit and our stockholders,” he said in a statement to the AP.

Frontier had offered a bid of more than $2.6 billion in stock and cash, which was less than JetBlue’s original offer of $3.7 billion, the AP reported.

JetBlue had said in a statement on Wednesday it was pleased that the Spirit/Frontier deal fell through.

Check back for more on this developing story.