Spirit Airlines Continues To Post Steady Gains;

Spirit Airlines, a low-fare carrier with service to 14 airports in the U.S., posted a steady 12.8 percent increase in the number of passengers carried in May 2000 versus May 1999. Last month, the airline carried 216,807 passengers, topping last year`s monthly figure of 192,126, representing an increase of 24,681 passengers. The year-to-date figure of 1,237,884 passengers carried is up 27.3 percent over last year’s figure of 972,266.
Spirit Airlines’ revenue passenger miles (RPMs) and available seat miles (ASMs) also showed solid increases in May. RPMs for the month were up 23.4 percent over May 1999, with figures of 207,635,000 and 168,241,000, respectively, while the year-to-date figure increased by 35.5 percent. ASMs for May 2000 were up 25.8 percent over May 1999, with figures of 287,068,000 and 228,175, respectively, and a year-to-date increase of 43.1 percent.

The load factor for the month held at a respectable 72.3 percent, registering a 1.9 point decrease, when compared to the May 1999 figure of 73.7 percent. Spirit Airline’s ongoing plan to grow with 164-seat MD-80 aircraft replacing DC-9 aircraft creates large capacity increases. The MD-80 is much more fuel-efficient than the DC-9 and operates more efficiently even at lower load factors.

Spirit Airlines, which offers low-fare jet service to some of America’s most popular leisure destinations, is one of the fastest growing, privately held air carriers in the United States. The airline currently has a fleet of 24 planes, flying nearly 100 flights per day.

The carrier’s current route structure includes service to 14 U.S. cities, including Atlantic City, Cleveland, Detroit, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Islip, LaGuardia, Los Angeles, Melbourne, Myrtle Beach, Newark, Orlando, Tampa and West Palm Beach. Spirit has just announced new service effective July 15 between Detroit and LaGuardia as well as additional service between LaGuardia and Ft. Lauderdale.