Spirit bulking up fleet for growth spurt

 

Spirit, the U.S. largest ultra-low-cost carrier, is getting ready to get even bigger, and is looking to lease planes next year to add to the stream of new-builds it has on order. The carrier says it expects to grow by 17-19% in 2020 compared to 2019.

Spirit has 138 Airbus A320 family planes in its fleet, and is slated for delivery in 2020 of 21 more A320neos. Beyond that, it has an order that extends out to a total of 150 planes (50 firm and 100 options), all for the A320neo. The new planes would be delivered between 2022 and 2027. Not bad for an airline that started out fifteen years ago with used MD80s and DC9s.

Despite a reputation for penny-pinching that has led some to call it meanSpirit, the airline has a fairly solid base of repeat customers drawn by its expanding network including service to secondary cities and its low pirces. Its network has grown rapidly, helping it double in size from 2014 to 2019.

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