Category Archives: Spirit Airlines

Spirit Airlines to launch Oakland – Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood flights

Spirit Airlines is adding Oakland (OAK) nonstop service to and from Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood (FLL) on April 1, making Spirit the only airline flying OAK to FLL nonstop.

Spirit started Oakland service in 2011 with a single flight to Las Vegas (LAS) and grew to third place among Oakland’s largest carriers. The new Fort Lauderdale flight joins existing service to Chicago (ORD), Detroit (DTW), Houston (IAH) and Los Angeles (LAX), along with what’s become four daily flights to Las Vegas.

Oakland (OAK) to/from: Effective: Frequency:
Fort Lauderdale (FLL) April 1, 2020 Daily, seasonal
Chicago (ORD) Now Daily, seasonal
Detroit (DTW) Now Daily, seasonal
Houston (IAH) Now Daily, seasonal
Las Vegas (LAS) Now 4x daily
Los Angeles (LAX) Now 2x daily

Spirit Airlines aircraft photo gallery:

Spirit Airlines adds two new routes to Colombia

Spirit Airlines has announced it will add two new destinations to its network in 2020, with service to Bucaramanga (BGA) and Barranquilla (BAQ) starting in April, 2020, subject to government approval.

Spirit flew its first flight to Colombia in May 2008, connecting Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood (FLL) to Cartagena (CTG). The airline’s expansion continued over the next decade with flights to Bogota (BOG), Medellin (MDE), Armenia (AXM) and Cali (CLO). Separately, the airline established nonstop flights between Orlando (MCO) and Cartagena, Bogota and Medellin. The addition of Bucaramanga and Barranquilla to Fort Lauderdale’s lineup means Spirit serves more cities in Colombia nonstop from the U.S. than any other airline, with a total of 10 routes from two U.S. gateways to seven Colombian cities.

Fort Lauderdale (FLL) to/from: Starts: Frequency:
Bucaramanga (BGA) April 22, 2020 Mon, Wed, Fri
Barranquilla (BAQ) April 23, 2020 Tue, Thu, Sun
Cartagena (CTG) Existing Service Mon, Wed, Fri, Sat
Bogota (BOG) Existing Service Daily
Medellin (MDE) Existing Service Daily
Armenia (AXM) Existing Service Mon, Wed, Fri
Cali (CLO) Existing Service Daily
Orlando (MCO) to/from:
Cartagena (CTG) Existing Service Tue, Sat
Bogota (BOG) Existing Service Daily
Medellin (MDE) Existing Service Mon, Fri

Routes south out of FLL:

Spirit Airlines aircraft photo gallery:

Spirit Airlines finalizes order for 100 Airbus A320neo Family aircraft

Spirit Airlines has finalized a purchase agreement with Airbus for 100 A320neo Family aircraft.

In October, the two parties had signed and announced a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the purchase of up to 100 of the aircraft – a mix of A319neo, A320neo, and A321neo – to meet the airline’s future fleet requirements.

Spirit is based in South Florida and is the fastest-growing airline in the United States, with flights throughout the U.S., Latin America and the Caribbean. The airline will announce an engine selection at a later date.

Firm orders worldwide for the A320neo Family now have surpassed 7,300 from more than 110 global customers.

Photo: Airbus.

Spirit unveils its redesigned cabin with new seats

Spirit Airlines has made this announcement:

America’s brightest airline livery is bringing its signature yellow glow inside the cabin as Spirit Airlines unveils a freshly updated interior. Complete with roomier seats, a larger tray table, and additional pre-recline on every row, this latest initiative is part of Spirit’s promise to Invest in the Guest by reviewing and improving every facet of the Guest experience. The first seats were installed at Spirit’s Detroit hangar on a brand-new Airbus A320neo delivered earlier this month. The updated cabin and recently refreshed outdoor paint scheme put the spotlight on Spirit’s all-Airbus Fit Fleet, one of the youngest, most fuel-efficient in the country.

The refreshed interior design features updated carpet, new signage and a Spirit-branded color palette throughout the cabin for an improved aesthetic and modern look and feel. The new ergonomically-designed seats – manufactured by Acro Aircraft Seating and previously announced in September 2019 – are padded with ultra-light weight foam and made of a composite skeleton to add comfort without increasing weight. Seat enhancements allow for a wider range of healthy postures and movements, offering an additional two inches of usable legroom compared to industry-standard flatback seats with the same pitch.

In addition, Spirit is adding comfort to its Big Front Seats™, making the best value in the sky even better. Spirit’s updated Big Front Seat™ will feature a new ergonomically-improved headrest with plush memory foam, additional memory foam in the seat cushion for comfort and thigh support, and sleek Spirit-branded aesthetic with yellow and black stitching. Guest feedback and survey results helped guide these design enhancements with manufacturer HAECO Cabin Solutions.

Additional highlights of the cabin redesign:

  • No more back pouches and safety cards in the way. Our literature pockets are now elevated, saving valuable real estate for Guests’ knees.
  • The new seats have full-sized tray tables.
  • New galley carts weigh 4 pounds less than existing carts, and each new seat is 2.6 pounds lighter, savings hundreds of pounds per flight and maintaining high fuel efficiency on Spirit’s Fit Fleet™.
  • Middle seats will gain another inch of width, and every seat will gain nearly an inch of pre-recline compared to Spirit’s current seating configuration, with exit rows adding even more.

The redesigned interior will be installed on nearly 150 new Airbus A320 Family aircraft being delivered to Spirit over the next several years. Additionally, Spirit will update the interiors of aircraft cycling through scheduled maintenance. Other projects in the pipeline as part of the Invest in the Guest initiative include inflight Wi-Fi, a revamped Loyalty program, and self-bag drop operations to reduce check-in lines.

Spirit Airlines aircraft photo gallery:

Spirit’s Airbus A319 N533NK is damaged in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico

Spirit Airlines’ Airbus A319 N533NK (msn 3393) was apparently damaged at the Lufthansa Technik facility in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico while undergoing maintenance according to Airline Secrets Exposed which released photos showing damage to the aircraft.

Spirit Airlines signs MOU for 100 Airbus A320eo Family aircraft, posts a 3Q profit

Spirit Airlines has announced it has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Airbus for the purchase of 100 new Airbus A320neo Family aircraft, together with the option to purchase up to 50 additional aircraft. The MOU includes a mix of Airbus A319, A320, and A321 models. These aircraft are planned for delivery through 2027.

“This new order represents another milestone for Spirit,” said Spirit Airlines’ President and CEO Ted Christie. “The additional aircraft will be used to support Spirit’s growth as we add new destinations and expand our network across the U.S, Latin America and the Caribbean. We look forward to working with our valued partners at Airbus to finalize our agreement.”

Spirit’s Fit Fleet® is one of the youngest and most fuel-efficient in the U.S. with an average aircraft age of just 5.6 years. Spirit currently operates 138 Airbus A320-family aircraft and has seven Airbus A320neo aircraft scheduled for delivery from Mobile, Ala., by year-end 2019, bringing its fleet count to 145. In 2020 and 2021, Spirit anticipates taking delivery of 48 A320neo aircraft.

In December 2019, Spirit plans to unveil an aircraft cabin redesign as part of its Invest in the Guest initiative. The cabin redesign will improve the look and feel of the interior while adding new, more comfortable seats that provide additional usable legroom. Spirit’s new seats will feature thicker padding, ergonomically-designed lumbar support, and a full-size tray table. Middle seats will also gain another inch of width, and every seat will gain nearly an inch of pre-recline compared to Spirit’s current seating configuration, with exit rows adding even more

On the financial side, the airline released this statement:

Spirit Airlines, Inc. reported third quarter 2019 financial results.

Third Quarter 2019 Third Quarter 2018
As Reported Adjusted As Reported Adjusted
(GAAP) (non-GAAP)1 (GAAP) (non-GAAP)1
Revenue $992.0 million $992.0 million $904.3 million $904.3 million
Operating Income $124.7 million $133.8 million $145.1 million $145.5 million
Operating Margin  12.6%  13.5%  16.0%  16.1%
Net Income $83.5 million $90.5 million $97.5 million $100.5 million
Diluted EPS $1.22 $1.32 $1.42 $1.47

“I want to thank all our team members for their dedication and commitment to provide our Guests a quality travel experience in what was a very busy summer travel period.  In addition to record passenger volumes, numerous summer storm systems across our network, including Hurricane Dorian, made for a challenging operating environment.  We have made several adjustments to improve our ability to better recover from adverse weather and we are already seeing the effects.  Over the past couple of months, our operational performance has rebounded and we have consistently achieved high completion factors along with great on-time performance,” said Ted Christie, Spirit’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “We are committed to continuously drive improvement throughout our business and to deliver strong earnings growth and returns for our shareholders.”

Revenue Performance
For the third quarter 2019, Spirit’s total operating revenue was $992.0 million, an increase of 9.7 percent compared to the third quarter 2018, driven by a 17.7 percent increase in flight volume.

Total operating revenue per available seat mile (“TRASM”) for the third quarter 2019 decreased 1.7 percent compared to the same period last year, driven by lower load factor, softer passenger yields and the negative impact from Hurricane Dorian.  Excluding the impact of Hurricane Dorian, the Company estimates its TRASM for the third quarter 2019 would have been down approximately 1 percent year over year.

Non-ticket revenue per passenger flight segment for the third quarter 2019 increased 1.7 percent to $55.372.   Fare revenue per passenger flight segment decreased 9.7 percent to $54.80 and total revenue per passenger segment decreased 4.3 percent year over year to $110.17, driven by shorter average stage length and lower passenger yields as compared to the third quarter 2018.

Cost Performance
For the third quarter 2019, total GAAP operating expenses increased 14.2 percent year over year to $867.3 million.  Adjusted operating expenses for the third quarter 2019 increased 13.1 percent year over year to $858.2 million3.  In addition to increased flight volume, these changes were primarily driven by salaries, wages and benefits and other operating expense (largely driven by passenger re-accommodation expense).

Aircraft fuel expense decreased in the third quarter 2019 by 1.9 percent year over year, due to an 11.9 percent decrease in fuel rates, largely offset by an 11.5 percent increase in fuel gallons consumed.

Spirit reported third quarter 2019 cost per available seat mile (“ASM”), excluding operating special items and fuel (“Adjusted CASM ex-fuel”), of 5.66 cents3, up 8.4 percent compared to the same period last year.   Throughout the quarter, storm systems across its network, including Hurricane Dorian, along with other operational challenges, led to a higher percentage of flight cancellations, additional crew costs, and passenger re-accommodation expense.  These additional expenses, loss of ASMs, and a shorter average stage length year over year, were the primary contributors to the increase in the third quarter Adjusted 2019 CASM ex-fuel year over year.

Spirit ended the third quarter 2019 with unrestricted cash, cash equivalents, and short-term investments of $1.0 billion.  For the nine months ended September 30, 2019, Spirit generated $358.4 million of operating cash flow.  After investing $283.6 million for aircraft purchases and pre-delivery deposits, and receiving $94.7 million of proceeds from issuance of long-term debt, Adjusted free cash flow for the nine months ended September 30, 2019 was $169.5 million4.  For the nine months ended September 30, 2019, net cash used in financing activities was $127.4 million.

Spirit took delivery of one new A320neo aircraft during the third quarter 2019, ending the quarter with 136 aircraft in its fleet.

Spirit Airlines aircraft photo gallery:

Spirit Airlines announces a new $250 million global headquarters investment near Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport

Spirit Airlines has announced its is moving its headquarters from Miramar (near FLL) to Dania Beach (closer to FLL):

Spirit Airlines has announced its intention to build a state-of-the-art headquarters in Dania Beach, Florida. The company plans to move into the new campus by mid-2022.The airline, headquartered in South Florida for more than 20 years, submitted site plans to the City of Dania Beach to build a campus up to 500,000 square feet act Dania Pointe, a premier mixed-use development comprised of nearly one million square feet of retail space, restaurants and housing.

Spirit has entered into an agreement with Kimco Realty (NYSE: KIM), the owner and principal developer of Dania Pointe, to secure the land. Gensler will be the lead architectural firm, and Jones Lang LaSalle was selected as the project advisor. Spirit estimates the total capital outlay for the project will be approximately $250 million over the next 36 months. The new campus will be located in the Dania Beach Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) District, and the Dania Beach CRA also supported the project.

In 2022, approximately 1,000 employees are planned to move from the company’s current facilities in Miramar to the new Dania Pointe site just minutes away from Spirit’s largest operating base, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL). The project will make way for the future growth of the airline while improving operational efficiency by consolidating Spirit’s real estate footprint. The development will include corporate offices and a new crew training facility with flight simulators for more streamlined workflow and quick access to the airport.

Spirit Airlines President and CEO Ted Christie stated, “It was two decades ago when Spirit moved to South Florida and temporarily headquartered in a building of less than 1,000 square feet. Today’s announcement shows just how far we’ve come. This new home will keep us connected to the South Florida community while improving our team’s efficiency and ability to support what is an ever-expanding international operation. We’ve enjoyed a great relationship with the City of Miramar, an outstanding location for headquarters and businesses of all sizes. We look forward to creating more jobs and driving future economic development as South Florida’s Hometown Airline.”