JetBlue Airways said
on Thursday that it had reached a deal to buy Spirit Airlines, a combination that could reshape the airline industry by putting pressure on the nation’s four dominant airlines.
The deal, which values Spirit at $3.8 billion, would create the nation’s fifth-largest airline, with a combined share of more than 10 percent of the market, behind United Airlines, which has a nearly 14 percent share.
But while the airlines have agreed to combine, closing the deal is far from certain. The Biden administration has taken a tough stance on antitrust, challenging corporate mergers that may reduce competition. Regulators have already sued
JetBlue and American Airlines over a partnership at airports in Boston and New York.