Spirit Airlines has won its long battle and been awarded the eight slot pairs at Newark Airport that were left behind when Southwest consolidated its New York operations at LaGuardia, but Spirit may not get to enjoy them for long.
That's because Spirit is the target of take-over attempts by JetBlue, which Spirit has tried to reject and Frontier, with which it signed an agreement. Either merger will mean realigning some rights and operations to meet competition issues, and JetBlue has specifically said that it will drop Spirit operations in the Northeast, where JetBlue is a major player. That would likely include the slots.
The airport and FAA had originally planned to let the sixteen 'timings,' each good for a take-off or landing, lapse to reduce congestion at Newark, but Spirit won a court battle to require that they be reassigned. The award to Spirit by the Department of Transportation comes after a contest for them that involved Spirit, JetBlue and Alaska.