Home / News / Joe Biden admin files case against JetBlue Airlines, opposes Spirits' purchase for $3.8 billion

The US Justice Department filed a complaint against JetBlue Airways Corp in Boston federal court on 7 March amid expectation that the government will oppose purchase of Spirit Airlines for $3.8 billion, reported news agency Reuters.

Earlier the Joe Biden administration had alleged the elimination of Spirit would increase ticket prices and decrease options for travelers, reported Bloomberg.

Among other details, the Department of Transportation is expected to begin a parallel proceeding to block the transfer of Spirit’s airline operating certificate as incompatible with the public interest, the report added.

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The Department of Transportation's move is seen as unexpected as the DOT has not used its authority to block the transfer of a certificate, or the formal Federal Aviation Administration approval to operate aircraft and carry passengers post the industry was deregulated in 1978.

Meanwhile, the US Justice Deportment's suit is seen as an attempt to focus on what it sees as potential harm to flyers, where there is a scarcity of budget airline.

Earlier in July 2021, an executive order was released specifically called on DOT and Justice to consult on how to “ensure competition in air transportation and the ability of new entrants to gain access."

With agency inputs.

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