All-Airbus Spirit Airlines eyes a Boeing for fleet expansion
A top executive at Spirit Airlines said the carrier is shopping for new airplanes to grow its all-Airbus fleet — and a Boeing airplane is in the mix of candidates. Matt Klein, the chief commercial officer for MIramar, Florida-based Spirit, made the remarks in an interview with The Puget Sound Business Journal.
“We are undergoing a process now to look for a new aircraft order,” Klein said. “As of right now, we’re including all manufacturers. There is a selection set right now.” “As we go through the process, we will then formalize and come to a conclusion. As of right now, we do have a Boeing in our consideration set, yes,” Klein said. Enlarge Matt Klein is the chief commercial officer for MIramar, Florida-based Spirit.
Asked whether Spirit was considering a Boeing 737 Max family jet, which are all made at Boeing’s sprawling jet manufacturing plant in Renton, Kein replied: “I prefer to not comment any further.” “As we go through the process, more and more will be made public when appropriate,” Klein added. Some airlines prefer one jet supplier, but others opt to divvy up their aircraft orders to give themselves better bargaining power. A move by Spirit to consider a Boeing single-aisle jet might be a sign that it’s looking for better performance, better prices from Airbus or both. Spirit currently flies about 112 jets and plans to increase that fleet to 122 by the end of 2018 with aircraft already on order. Spirit Airlines fleet Bob Fornaro is the CEO of Spirit Airlines.
The airline says its mixture of Airbus A319s (145 seats), A320s ( 182seats) , and A321s (228 seats) enhances its ability to optimize aircraft useage depending on the market it serves In a presentation to investors last month, though, Spirit said it was looking to beef up its fleet beyond what it’s already ordered to meet its growth plans. The airline said in a presentation that it was “exploring opportunities that would allow us to grow 2019 capacity between 13 percent to 15 percent.” It offered no further details. The carrier currently operates more than 500 daily flights to 65 destinations. Spirit Airlines is beefing up its service in Seattle this spring and summer, betting it can win Puget Sound region business with its bright yellow jets and ultra-low-cost fares. The discount airline’s new seasonal flights start at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport Thursday.
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