JetBlue is waiting in the wings after Spirit called off its merger with Frontier

A Spirit airlines plane takes off from Miami International Airport on July 27.Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Spirit Airlines has terminated its proposed merger with fellow budget airline Frontier after several weeks of will-they-or-won't-they speculation.

Driving the news: Spirit announced the deal's collapse Wednesday afternoon after the company's shareholders were poised to vote on it.

  • Facing competition from JetBlue, which made a rival bid for Spirit, Frontier had signaled that it did not expect to win the support of Spirit shareholders, CNBC reported.
  • JetBlue had offered a cash deal of about $3.7 billion, while Frontier had offered cash and stock worth about $2.6 billion.

What's next: Spirit said Wednesday it plans to hold discussions with JetBlue about a possible deal, which would form the nation's fifth largest airline.

  • Spirit's stock closed up 3.9% on Wednesday and was up another 2.6% in aftermarket trading to nearly $25.

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