Category Archives: Spirit Airlines

Spirit Airlines to add international routes from New Orleans

Spirit Airlines has made this announcement:

Spirit Airlines is broadening The Crescent City’s international reach with two new destinations.

The nation’s fastest-growing airline will fly from Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY) to Cancun, Mexico (CUN) starting on June 10*. The next day, Spirit will inaugurate service to San Pedro Sula, Honduras (SAP)*.

The airline will also increase frequency to Orlando International Airport (MCO), with one additional daily flight, starting on April 22.

New Orleans is home to one of the largest Honduran populations in the United States. Spirit’s flights to San Pedro Sula’s Ramón Villeda Morales Airport will make it easier for people to visit their friends and family, along with making the city more accessible to tourists. Flights to San Pedro Sula will operate on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday, with connecting options on other days of the week.

Spirit brought its low fares and bright-yellow planes to MSY in January 2013 with flights to Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW). Seven years later, the airline provides nonstop service from MSY to a total of 22 domestic and international destinations. Spirit’s investment in New Orleans turned it into the third-largest carrier in the city (measured by available seat miles). The airline served approximately 1.7 million Guests at MSY in 2019—a 20 percent increase year-over-year—with plans to keep growing in 2020.

New Orleans is the sixth city this year to gain flights to Cancun on Spirit Airlines. Flights are scheduled four times per week: Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, with connecting options available on the other days of the week.

Routes & Frequencies
New Orleans (MSY) to/from: Effective: Frequency:
Orlando (MCO) April 22, 2020 2x Daily
Cancun (CUN) June 10, 2020 4x Weekly
San Pedro Sula (SAP) June 11, 2020 3x Weekly
Atlanta (ATL) Now 1x Daily
Austin (AUS) Now 1x Daily
Nashville (BNA) Now 1x Daily
Boston (BOS) Now 1x Daily
Baltimore (BWI) Now 1x Daily
Cleveland (CLE) Now 3x Weekly
Columbus (CMH) Now 3x Weekly
Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) Now 1x Daily
Detroit (DTW) Now 1 – 2x Daily
Newark (EWR) Now 1x Daily
Fort Lauderdale (FLL) Now 2 – 3x Daily
Houston (IAH) Now 1x Daily
Las Vegas (LAS) Now 1x Daily
Los Angeles (LAX) Now 1x Daily
Minneapolis (MSP) Now 4x Weekly
Chicago O’Hare (ORD) Now 1 – 2x Daily
Philadelphia (PHL) Now 4x Weekly
Raleigh-Durham (RDU) Now 1x Daily
Tampa (TPA) Now 1x Daily

 

*Subject to government approval

Spirit Airlines aircraft photo gallery:

Spirit Airlines to move its Operational Control Center from Miramar, FL to the Nashville area

Delivered on February 2, 2019

Spirit Airlines has made this announcement:

America’s fastest-growing airline is expanding behind the scenes to support its growing operation and set the stage for future expansion. Spirit Airlines will bolster network resiliency and reduce hurricane and tropical storm risk by bringing more than 240 Team Members from its Operational Control Center (OCC) in Miramar, Fla., to a nearly 49,000-square-foot facility in Williamson County, Tennessee. The transition is scheduled to be completed by early 2021, and Spirit also plans to add nearly 100 more positions at the OCC over the next five years.

The OCC controls round-the-clock flight operations for more than 650 flights each day across the U.S., Latin America and the Caribbean. Team Members are responsible for flight dispatch, crew scheduling, maintenance control, aircraft routing, air traffic control coordination, Guest solutions and more. Spirit’s operations team is instrumental in the airline’s commitment to invest in the Guest experience and deliver the Best Value in the Sky. Spirit secured industry acclaim as the country’s most on-time Low Cost Airline by Flight Global, as well as international recognition as the Low Cost Airline of the Year at the CAPA World Aviation Summit and Air Transport World’sValue Airline of the Year. Spirit’s OCC team efforts have helped the airline achieve among the best on-time performance for the past two years.

The Music City came out on top in a nationwide search due to its geographic location, business climate and growing aviation sector. Spirit started Nashville service in October 2019 with new nonstop flights to Baltimore/Washington (BWI), Fort Lauderdale (FLL), Las Vegas (LAS), New Orleans (MSY), Orlando (MCO) and Tampa (TPA). Soon, Nashville gets even More Go with the upcoming launch of nonstop flights to Austin (AUS), Newark (EWR), Los Angeles (LAX) and Cancun (CUN).

More than 700 of Spirit’s Miramar-based Team Members will move into the airline’s new corporate headquarters (below) scheduled to open near the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in 2022. The airline also plans to add an additional 225 positions at the new HQ to support Spirit’s expanding domestic and international operations.

 

The OCC move coincides with Spirit’s plan to double its all-Airbus fleet to about 300 aircraft over the next five years. The airline recently finalized an order for the delivery of 100 new Airbus A320neo Family Aircraft through 2027.

Top Copyright Photo: Spirit Airlines Airbus A320-271N WL N907NK (msn 8275) FLL (Andy Cripps). Image: 949114.

Spirit Airlines aircraft slide show:

 

Spirit Airlines becomes Fort Lauderdale’s largest international airline

Spirit Airlines has made this announcement:

Spirit Airlines is scheduling additional flights every day from some of Central and South Florida’s most popular destinations.

In all, Florida’s Hometown Airline plans to inaugurate or upgrade the frequency of flights on 16 routes from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) and Orlando International Airport (MCO). The changes will begin April 1, 2020 and continue rolling out through July.

New Service
Fort Lauderdale (FLL) to/from: Effective: Frequency:
Oakland (OAK) April 1, 2020 Daily
Extensions & Additional Frequencies
Fort Lauderdale (FLL) to/from: Effective: Frequency:
Guatemala City (GUA) April 22, 2020 Up to 2 Daily*
Myrtle Beach (MYR) April 22, 2020 2x Daily
New Orleans (MSY) April 22, 2020 2x Daily**
Philadelphia (PHL) April 22, 2020 4x Daily
San Salvador (SAL) April 23, 2020 Up to 2 Daily*
St. Croix (STX) June 10, 2020 Daily
Atlantic City (ACY) July 9, 2020 3x Daily
Detroit (DTW) July 9, 2020 3x Daily
Orlando (MCO) to/from: Effective: Frequency:
Medellín (MDE) April 22, 2020 3x Weekly
New York LaGuardia (LGA) April 22, 2020 1x Daily***
Raleigh-Durham (RDU) April 22, 2020 2x Daily
Atlantic City (ACY) July 9, 2020 Up to 3 Daily
Guatemala City (GUA) July 9, 2020 Daily*
Kansas City (MCI) July 9, 2020 Up to 2 Daily
Pittsburgh (PIT) July 9, 2020 2x Daily

Fort Lauderdale’s growth includes additional flights to Guatemala City (GUA), San Salvador (SAL) and St. Croix (STX), which will cement Spirit’s lead as the airport’s largest carrier to the Caribbean and Latin America. The airline surpassed JetBlue in terms of available seats to the region in January 2020, with nonstop service to 28 destinations.

*Requires government approval
**3x daily spring seasonal
***Upgraded from seasonal

Spirit Airlines aircraft photo gallery:

Routes from FLL:

Spirit Airlines reports fourth quarter and full year 2019 results

Spirit Airlines, Inc. has reported fourth quarter and full year 2019 financial results.

Fourth Quarter 2019 Fourth Quarter 2018
As Reported Adjusted As Reported Adjusted
(GAAP) (non-GAAP)1 (GAAP) (non-GAAP)1
Revenue $969.8 million $969.8 million $862.8 million $862.8 million
Operating Income $124.6 million $129.6 million $136.1 million $139.3 million
Operating Margin 12.9% 13.4% 15.8% 16.2%
Net Income $81.2 million $85.0 million $91.9 million $94.7 million
Diluted EPS $1.18 $1.24 $1.34 $1.38

“2019 was a year of many accomplishments for Spirit.  Our improving operational reliability, and the investments we’re making to provide our Guests the best value in the sky are being noticed by our Guests and earning us international acclaim.  We once again achieved a fourth-place ranking for on-time performance among reporting U.S. carriers2.  Spirit also recently received several global recognitions:  Low-Cost Airline of the Year at the CAPA World Aviation Summit; Value Airline of the Year by Air Transport World; and, most on-time Low Cost Airline by Flight Global.  Our team also delivered strong financial results for 2019.  For the full year 2019, our GAAP pre-tax earnings increased 112.9 percent year over year.  Excluding special items, our Adjusted pre-tax earnings increased 15.3 percent year over year1,” said Ted Christie, Spirit’s President and Chief Executive Officer.  “I am very proud of the Spirit team for these accomplishments.  Looking ahead to 2020, we are focused on running a safe and reliable airline, leveraging technology and automation to drive further efficiencies, and executing on our revenue initiatives to deliver strong returns for our shareholders.”

 

Revenue Performance
For the fourth quarter 2019, Spirit’s total operating revenue was $969.8 million, an increase of 12.4 percent compared to the fourth quarter 2018, driven by an 18.6 percent increase in flight volume.  Fourth quarter 2019 revenue includes approximately $7.2 million of out-of-period revenue related to the reclamation of over-remitted Federal Excise Tax.

Total operating revenue per available seat mile (“TRASM”) for the fourth quarter 2019 decreased 3.6 percent compared to the same period last year.  Without the out-of-period revenue, the Company estimates its fourth quarter 2019 TRASM would have been down about 4.3 percent year-over-year.  The decrease in TRASM was driven by lower operating yields, as load factor for the period was up slightly.

On a per passenger flight segment (“PFS”) basis, for the fourth quarter 2019 total revenue per PFS decreased 5.5 percent year over year, to $110.71, non-ticket revenue per PFS increased 2.3 percent to $58.033, and fare revenue per PFS decreased 12.9 percent to $52.68.

Cost Performance
For the fourth quarter 2019, total GAAP operating expenses increased 16.3 percent year over year to $845.2 million.  Adjusted operating expenses for the fourth quarter 2019 increased 16.1 percent year over year to $840.2 million4. Primary drivers of the increase in adjusted operating expense compared to the fourth quarter last year include increased flight volume and higher ground handling rates.

Aircraft fuel expense increased in the fourth quarter 2019 by 6.7 percent year over year, due to a 14.8 percent increase in fuel gallons consumed, partially offset by a 7.1 percent decrease in fuel rates.

Spirit reported fourth quarter 2019 cost per available seat mile (“ASM”), excluding operating special items and fuel (“Adjusted CASM ex-fuel”), of 5.67 cents4, up 3.3 percent compared to the same period last year.  Primary drivers of the increase on a per ASM basis compared to the same period last year included heavy maintenance amortization, maintenance, material and repairs and other operating expenses.

“Our team did a great job recovering from the operational issues we faced in the summer and finished the year 2019 with strong operational results.  Strong operational performance is key to our continued good cost management and we believe we are well-positioned as we enter 2020.  As we’ve noted previously, we have several inflationary pressures we are facing such that we expect our 2020 CASM ex-fuel to increase 1 to 2 percent year over year.  From a timing perspective, we face the toughest hurdle in the first quarter, but we anticipate the headwinds will ease as we progress through the year.  And, while we already have one of the most fuel-efficient fleets in the U.S., with our growing fleet of A320neo aircraft we should see even greater fuel efficiency this year, helping us offset some Adjusted CASM ex-fuel pressure,” said Scott Haralson, Spirit’s Chief Financial Officer.

Liquidity
Spirit ended the year with unrestricted cash, cash equivalents, and short-term investments of $1.1 billion.  For the twelve months ended December 31, 2019, Spirit generated $409.2 million of operating cash flow.  After investing $294.5 million for aircraft purchases and pre-delivery deposits, and receiving $225.9 million of proceeds from issuance of long-term debt, Adjusted free cash flow for the twelve months ended December 31, 2019 was $340.6 million5.  For the twelve months ended December 31, 2019, net cash used in financing activities was $120.2 million.

Fleet
Spirit took delivery of nine new aircraft (seven A320neo and two A320ceo) during the fourth quarter 2019, ending the year with 145 aircraft in its fleet.

Full Year 2019 Highlights

  • Launched service to the following new destinations: Austin, Burbank, Charlotte-Douglas, Indianapolis, Nashville, Raleigh-Durham and Sacramento.
  • Received global recognition as the Low-Cost Airline of the Year at the CAPA (Centre for Aviation) World Aviation Summit. CAPA, part of the Aviation Week Network, is one of the world’s most trusted sources of market intelligence for the aviation and travel industry.
  • Continued its commitment to invest in the Guest experience with an industry-leading technology to connect with its Guests via the messaging application WhatsApp.
  • Unveiled new, ergonomic and more comfortable seats that provide additional usable legroom as well as added comfort to its Big Front Seats, making the best value in the sky even better.
  • Announced a new $250 million global headquarters investment at a new campus in Dania Beach, Florida.
  • Announced an order for 100 Airbus A320neo Family Aircraft, with an option to purchase up to 50 more, to support the airline’s growth and sustain one of the youngest, most fuel-efficient fleets in the U.S.  These aircraft are planned for delivery through 2027.

Spirit Airlines aircraft photo gallery:

Route Map:

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.