Law360 reports the plan to hike airfares was revealed in documents incorrectly redacted submitted by the class action plaintiffs in a class action against JetBlue.
Leaked Information Reveal Flight Prices Could Jump Between 25% to 40%
After winning over Spirit Airlines’ board in a competition against fellow ultra-low-cost-carrier Frontier Airlines, the New York-based carrier has been quiet about their plans. Once the merger was announced, a group of flyers took JetBlue to federal court in Massachusetts, arguing that the merger could result in violations of antitrust laws. The case is still being litigated, and no decision has been made for either party.
While nothing has been formally announced for bringing the two fleets together, a purported document erroneously redacted by the plaintiffs’ attorneys and submitted to the court arguing against the carrier’s motion for summary judgement may suggest what JetBlue has in mind for Spirit. The document is no longer available in the public docket.
If the new all-Airbus airline were to form, the plaintiff’s document alleges former Spirit aircraft would not only receive a new coat of paint, but also see 24 seats removed from each aircraft. With 200 airframes, that would reduce the airline’s capacity by 4,800.
The number “24” would also play into how much fares could rise compared to where they are today. The leaked document reportedly argued “JetBlue plans to increase fares on aircraft it acquires from Spirit by at least 24%.” The document reportedly further argues that they have “direct evidence” that the price hikes could be as much as 40%.
One of JetBlue’s core arguments for the merger was creating a larger airline with Spirit, providing a nationwide low-cost network operating in underserved communities. The leaked document suggests that if the current Spirit routes were to get cut – as JetBlue has promised in some situations – it could result in a market-wide price hike of 30%.
The plaintiffs in the case, JetBlue, or Spirit Airlines have not commented on the allegations from the purportedly leaked document. FlyerTalk could not retrieve an independent copy of the document from the court’s docket to independently verify the information.
Source: frugal travel guy