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Spirit mulls options to refinance debt, says JetBlue deal still intact

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A Spirit Airlines aircraft prepares to depart San Diego International Airport in San Diego, California, U.S., January 16, 2024 after a federal judge on Tuesday blocked JetBlue Airways’ planned $3.8 billion acquisition of ultra-low-cost carrier

(Reuters) -Spirit Airlines said on Friday it was assessing options to refinance its 2025 debt maturities amid some analyst concerns over the airline’s ability to stay afloat, sending its shares up 6.5% before the bell.

The airline also said its merger agreement with JetBlue Airways (NASDAQ:) remains in “full force and effect”. JetBlue was not immediately available for comment.

Reuters reported on Friday that Spirit was seeking to convince JetBlue to appeal a decision by a U.S. federal judge to block the tie-up between the airlines.

The ruling by District Judge William Young found the proposed deal was potentially threatening to competition in the U.S. aviation market and could harm ticket prices.

If the deal went through, it would have created the fifth-largest carrier in the United States and helped Spirit secure its survival.

The ultra-low-cost carrier has been struggling to report profits due to increased operating costs and supply chain issues, creating uncertainty over its ability to pay down debt due to mature next year.

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