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Spirit Airlines CEO says airline industry is a ‘rigged game,’ U.S. consumers are ‘long-term losers’

Ted Christie, the CEO of Spirit Airlines, openly discussed the airline sector, comparing it to a rigged system and stating that American consumers are “the long-term losers.”

“Today, nearly all the profits of the entire U.S. airline industry are concentrated in just two companies, while the smaller non-legacy carriers scrambled to restore profitability in what seems ever more like a rigged game,” Christie noted during an analysis in an earnings call.

“The Big Four are the beneficiaries of this new normal, American consumers are the long-term losers,” Christie mentioned.

Christie went on to say that only recently, the carrier figured “the branding of the new facility might be blue.”

He was discussing the unsuccessful $3.8 billion merger with JetBlue Airways that occurred earlier in 2024. Christie had stated that the agreement to merge the airlines, first revealed in 2022, “would save hundreds of millions for consumers and create a real challenger to the dominant ‘Big 4’ U.S. airlines,” but it encountered considerable regulatory opposition.

In January, a federal judge halted JetBlue’s purchase of Spirit Airlines after siding with the Justice Department’s argument that the merger would harm the accessibility of affordable airline tickets.

“Looking back a couple of months, we still feel strongly, it was a serious misreading of both the evidence and the law for the Federal Court to enjoin our merger with JetBlue,” Christie said to a team of analysts.

Christie concluded with saying “the fact that the DOJ even brought a case to block a merger between two carriers with less than 8% combined market share, just shows how uninformed the government is about our dynamic airline business, particularly in the post-COVID era.”

Featured Image: CC/Flickr/David Ackerman

Kyle James Lee

Majority Owner of The AEGIS Alliance. I studied in college for Media Arts, Game Development. Talents include Writer/Article Writer, Graphic Design, Photoshop, Web Design and Development, Video Production, Social Media, and eCommerce.


    1. Larry King It’s the Corporations, not the ability to freely buy and sell.
      A lemonade stand is a little kids capitalism building young. Just an example.
      It’s the Big Corporations, Gov., etc. Long conversation.

    2. Kimberly Owra lol really duhhh I figured people are smart enough to know what systems of capitalism is against the consumer. Really if a kids lemonade stand is rigging their prices against those who consume their lemonade they should actually be working for a large corporation.

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