The US ultra-low-cost carrier Spirit Airlines (NK) released an update on its fleet plan, in which it announced it expects to add 13 new Airbus A320neo during the final quarter of the year, increasing the overall fleet size to 197 planes.

New planes coming

Spirit Airlines is looking to add extra capacity in the next three months, allowing the company to offer more seats and flights throughout the United States and beyond. The fleet plan of the company, as of October 26, 2022, includes the reception of 13 new Airbus A320neo in the year’s final quarter.

This would increase the A320neo subfleet to 72 jetliners and the overall fleet to 197 planes, composed of 31 A319ceos, 64 A320ceos, 72 A320neos, and 30 A321ceos. Spirit still expects to receive about 122 new aircraft from Airbus, per ch-aviation. As of October 2022, Spirit Airlines offers around 5,449 weekly flights and nearly one million seats available. These flights are divided like this:

  1. Airbus A319: 936 weekly flights and 135,720 seats available; 145 seats per departure on average.
  2. Airbus A320: 1,785 weekly flights and 324,870 seats available; 182 seats per departure on average.
  3. Airbus A320neo: 1,800 weekly flights and 327,600 seats available; 182 seats per departure on average.
  4. Airbus A321: 928 weekly flights and 211,584 seats available; 228 seats per departure on average.
A Spirit Airlines Airbus A320neo.

Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying.

The fleet plan beyond 2022

Spirit Airlines also released its fleet plan for 2023. Next year, the airline expects to receive 33 additional aircraft, increasing its fleet to 230 narrowbody jetliners by the end of 2023. This final number could vary depending on the retirements or lease expirations of older planes.

Spirit Airlines expects to receive five Airbus A320neo in the first quarter, four in the second quarter, five in the third quarter, and six in the final quarter. Similarly, Spirit will take delivery of its first two Airbus A321neos (with a capacity for 235 passengers) in the second quarter of next year, followed by seven in the third quarter and four in the final quarter.

A Spirit Airlines Airbus A320neo.

Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying.

Spirit’s results in the third quarter

During the third quarter, Spirit Airlines had total operating revenues worth US$1.34 billion, which was a 35% increase compared to the pre-pandemic revenue levels of the company. Spirit posted a net loss of US$36.4 million this quarter. The airline also entered into a definitive merger agreement with JetBlue Airways during this quarter.

Ted Christie, Spirit’s president and Chief Executive Officer, said that the business performed well against a set of negative headwinds during the period, including much higher fuel costs, hurricane Ian (the airline canceled approximately 950 flights related to this hurricane), and Florida capacity constraints. He added,

“Strong demand and sound revenue management coupled with excellent operational reliability and overall cost management helped mitigate the impacts of these headwinds. Looking ahead to the fourth quarter of 2022, leisure demand remains strong, and we expect unit revenue in the fourth quarter to be up 15% to 16.5% on 24.5% more capacity, compared to the fourth quarter of 2019.”

Have you traveled with Spirit Airlines? How was the experience onboard its Airbus family? Let us know in the comments below.


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