Chip LaMarca: JetBlue-Spirit merger will unleash huge benefits for Floridians

With the state of travel today, that’s something we can all get behind.

The JetBlue-Spirit merger has the potential to be a game-changer for Florida.

By creating a stronger, more connected airline, we can expect economic growth, job opportunities, and improved travel experiences for our residents and visitors alike. While we await the outcome of the regulatory and legal process, I believe it is essential that we, as Floridians, recognize the tremendous potential this merger holds for our great state.

As a combined airline, JetBlue will employ nearly 10,000 people in the Sunshine State, including nearly 6,000 employees in the greater Fort Lauderdale area. The company has committed to keeping JetBlue Travel Products headquartered here and turning Spirit’s Dania Beach campus into a support center.

Upon the merger’s closing, JetBlue has committed to bringing at least 1,000 new jobs to South Florida, at least 500 new jobs to the Orlando region, and at least 500 new jobs to support JetBlue at airports throughout the state.

The JetBlue-Spirit merger will present an incredible rate of economic growth, job opportunities, and development for Florida and our residents.

The benefits of the deal will extend to Floridians who fly and the millions of tourists who come here to enjoy our warm weather and great beaches every year. JetBlue will increase seat capacity by at least 50% in both Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) and Orlando International Airport (MCO), as well as increase capacity at other airports where it operates in the state.

As part of its plans for growth, JetBlue has announced a new route between Fort Lauderdale and Tallahassee to make it easier for policymakers, business professionals, and university students to travel quickly at a low fare. This is particularly helpful for those of us who have to make this trip upwards of 30-plus times a year.

The airline has also said it intends to offer new European destinations from Florida as well.

Connecting our region to the state capital and more cities across the country and the globe is a significant win for the Sunshine State.

Currently, four airlines control about 80% of the U.S. market. That means travelers are subject to the high fares these airlines charge and have limited options to look elsewhere.

By acquiring Spirit, JetBlue – while still having less than 10% of the market share – would have the resources to be a stronger national competitor with the “Big Four” airlines. That means more competition on routes nationwide, lower fares, and more access to JetBlue’s best-in-class in-flight experience.

Unfortunately, the U.S. Department of Justice has sued to block the JetBlue-Spirit merger. While all mergers and acquisitions should be examined to determine the benefit for consumers, the proposed deal between JetBlue and Spirit is not anti-competitive. JetBlue has proactively agreed to divest five of Spirit’s gates and related assets in Fort Lauderdale to other low-fare airlines, sparking competition and choice for consumers. This move plainly indicates JetBlue’s commitment to increasing healthy market competition not only for their travelers but for everyone.

Despite the many benefits of the merger, the U.S. Department of Transportation, which has not had airline merger review authority since 1989, has said it plans to investigate whether the merger is in the public interest even after the trial has concluded. This demonstrates a departure from more than three decades of agency precedent.

Blocking this merger would represent a major setback in the ongoing efforts to foster a more accessible, affordable, and competitive airline industry – something the Secretary of Transportation should welcome.

Having visited our vibrant community recently, I would ask Secretary Pete Buttigieg to consider the benefits to all travelers, as well as the economic benefit to Florida.

The benefits a stronger JetBlue will have for Florida, our residents, our visitors, and our economy are clear. This merger will create jobs, attract talent, and drive economic development by making travel more accessible and more affordable. That’s why I am proud to support JetBlue’s acquisition of Spirit Airlines – a deal that will bring tangible benefits to Floridians and move our state in the right direction. I strongly urge the U.S. Departments of Justice and Transportation to prioritize the best interests of the Sunshine State and grant their approval for the merger between JetBlue and Spirit without further delay.


Rep. Chip LaMarca serves District 100 in the Florida House.

Guest Author


  • NoRinpolicie

    November 4, 2023 at 5:37 am

    No one is coming to Maga fascist swamp state that treats Disney, women , gays, and anyone not a rich white christian nationalist bad. Where they die of covid for believing Ron

    • Jon Burgandy

      November 5, 2023 at 11:46 am

      People who think like you should be wiped out or Atleast not allowed to procreate. Your blind hatred and complete ignorance has nothing to do with the subject merger. I hope you have a heat stroke from wearing 3 masks outside.

      • Rick Whitaker

        November 5, 2023 at 12:06 pm

        jon , LOTS of people agree with norinpolicie. people despise desantis, and he has made florida a dangerous place to visit or live in. why go to florida, ……….. can’t think of a good reason. also it’s maga cultist like you that makes people afraid to visit.

        • Ron Burgandy

          November 5, 2023 at 2:27 pm

          You people are out of your mind and I’m glad weak minded individuals such as yourself are afraid to visit Florida. Go to California and practice what you preach with the degenerates paying an arm and leg for gas and taxes. They have Disney as well over there last time I checked. I’ll stick to the flourishing Florida economy with no state income tax which is a now a safe haven for normal Americans. 1st Define what a woman is. 2nd tell me how many genders there are. Lastly, tell me what all this has to do with the Jet Blue merger.

          • Rick Whitaker

            November 5, 2023 at 6:56 pm

            jon did you not understand the article? the merger is touting a benefit to florida if they merge the 2 airlines. the claimed benefit is dependant on more visitors to florida. but with florida turning into a fascist state, less people will visit. you are welcome to stay in florida, i got out and am very happy about getting out. i’m not a hater so i don’t expect you to understand my motives since you seem to be a maga cult hater

  • Don Burgundy

    November 5, 2023 at 8:02 pm

    For every non sensible eunuch that left the state such as yourself , there are a 7 fold of people traveling to Florida back and forth as new property & businesses owners. I appreciate you leaving the state. Florida has turned from a swing state to the Mecca for normal Americans and will flourish more as those normal Americans continue to move their homes and businesses there and the weirdos continue to leave the state. I am really impressed that you were at least smart enough to realize you are no longer welcome there. I’m curious as to what hellhole you had to flee to. JetBlue will do well after this merger as they not only fly to Florida but also those tourist locations such as Jamaica and DR that have a lot of those foreign nationals as residents of the state whom tend to travel back and forth often

  • Dee

    November 5, 2023 at 9:38 pm


    • Rick Whitaker

      November 6, 2023 at 6:59 pm

      thanks for the sensible and fact filled comment. the burgundy comment was an obvious maga cultist comment. i left florida in 1968 and i wouldn’t go back. my aunt lives there as an airline stewardess retiree. she worked for twa starting in the late 1950’s. i won’t visit her because i don’t go to florida, period. according to burgundy it’s a place only for what he calls normal people. i guess he is referring to all the white christian nationalist in florida. what a jerk.

      • Tron Burgandy

        November 6, 2023 at 9:31 pm

        If you left Florida in the 60s, why post on this site. You’re an old fairy who didn’t amount to much. You should off yourself. I’m sure your aunt wouldn’t have minded. I’d bet your family never thought too much of you in the first place. Now you’re an old miserable man who will die as such.

  • Tron Burgandy

    November 7, 2023 at 9:12 am

    That was a little excessive. Sorry

    • Rick Whitaker

      November 7, 2023 at 9:47 am

      tron, i’m a straight successful retired businessman with a large extended family. i’m a progressive dem and i believe in personal freedoms, but i don’t know how you assume i was a gay or overly gay rights person. i’m ok with other people doing what they want as long as it’s not forced upon me. i post on this site because i see florida as a bell weather state for radical fascist politics and that concerns me. i like politics. my biggest enemy is white christian nationalist. look, i expect haters to hate, so anything you say about me is ok. i hate the maga cult, so i am a hater too.

  • William F Kamauf

    November 7, 2023 at 2:48 pm

    For the sale to be successful politicians will have to have some funds slipped into their pocket after all they don’t become multi millionaires on the salary.

  • William F Kamauf

    November 7, 2023 at 2:48 pm

    For the sale to be successful politicians will have to have some funds slipped into their pocket after all they don’t become multi millionaires on the salary.

    • Rick Whitaker

      November 7, 2023 at 3:19 pm

      that is correct, some desantis appointee will make something for sure

      • A-Aron Burgandy

        November 7, 2023 at 10:35 pm

        Rick, it’s not DeSantis’s DOJ who is trying to stop this merger. In all seriousness, you sound extremely immature for a retiree who wouldn’t visit his aunt because she lived in a state you don’t like. You put politics over family? That’s truly hitler youth stuff so you better look in the mirror before you call somebody a fascist.

Comments are closed.


Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Drew Dixon, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Cole Pepper, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Drew Wilson, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704

Sign up for Sunburn