TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA — Attorney General Ashley Moody is securing thousands of new jobs for Floridians and dramatically increasing the number of flights to and from Florida cities. Moody’s concerns over the proposed multibillion-dollar merger between JetBlue and Spirit Airlines will be resolved through an agreement announced yesterday.
“I am proud to take action to bring thousands of airline jobs to Florida communities while also ensuring that Florida will see an unprecedented increase in affordable flights and airline capacity to support our growing economy,” said Attorney General Ashley Moody.
Moody’s antitrust division has been conducting an investigation into whether the merger of the two airlines would violate federal antitrust laws, the Florida Antitrust Act, and the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act. The airlines agreed to resolve Moody’s concerns by making commitments to Florida in a settlement agreement.
Under the agreement, the merged company must increase its seat capacity by at least 50 percent in both Fort Lauderdale and Orlando and must also increase its aggregate seat capacity at all other Florida airports in which JetBlue or Spirit currently operate by at least 50 percent.
The commitments will bring hundreds of new daily flights to Florida and will increase service to over 35 additional markets. In addition, new service will begin in nearly 50 other markets.
NEW JOBS FOR FLORIDIANS
Another part of the settlement includes a commitment from the merged airline to bring at least 1,000 new jobs to South Florida and at least 500 new jobs to the Orlando region. Another 500 new jobs would be created to support the airline’s expanded operations at airports throughout Florida.
A “no furlough” policy for Florida employees will remain in effect for five years and former Spirit employees will be given raises. The merged company will also maintain all Florida facilities currently in use by either JetBlue or Spirit, including Spirit’s planned future headquarters in Dania Beach for at least five years following the merger.
Florida’s Attorney General’s Office told the Florida Standard that JetBlue’s commitments to Florida are enforceable, and if they are breached, the company will be subject to up to $80 million in penalties and other relief available under the laws of the State of Florida.
To view the full agreement, click here.