Activist investors adopt different approaches at Southwest and JetBlue – for now

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Two of America's higher profile airlines - Southwest Airlines and JetBlue Airways - have arguably been struggling to define themselves in an environment where ultra-low cost operators are stumbling and passenger preference for a more premium experience shows no sign of weakening.

Activist investors have set their sights on Southwest and JetBlue in 2024.

Southwest's largest shareholder, which is now Elliott Investment, has lashed out at management's lack of vision. The legendary airline investor Carl Icahn has not been as vocal since taking a nearly 10% stake in JetBlue and gaining two seats on the airline's board, but that could change over time.

Southwest is attempting to thwart Elliott's efforts to upend its management by adopting a "Poison Pill," the latest development in the airline's struggle to preserve its identity in a changing US market place.

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This article was written on 04-Jul-2024.