Spirit Airlines Posts Steady Traffic Gains For 24th Consecutive Month

Low-fare specialist Spirit Airlines, the largest privately-held airline in the United States, posted increases in revenue passenger miles (RPMs) and available seat miles (ASMs) in August for the 24th consecutive month, the company announced today. Spirit continues to also experience strong growth compared to its passenger counts of a year ago.

“The signs are all there indicating Spirit Airlines is experiencing one of the strongest times in our 10 year history,” said Chairman Ned Homfeld.

In August 2000, Spirit’s RPMs were up 12.4 percent from August 1999, with figures of 240,894,000 and 214,322,000, respectively. The year-to-date RPMs through August 2000 - 1,875,734 - represent a 26.1 percent increase from last August.

ASMs for August 2000 - 305,415,000 - were up 13.8 percent from August 1999’s figure of 268,427,000. The year-to-date ASM increase is 30.3 percent.

Spirit’s passenger counts for August 2000 - 251,991 - bettered its August 1999 figure of 232,629 by 8.3 percent, and comparing the first eight months of 2000 with last year’s first eight months, Spirit is carrying nearly 19 percent more customers.


Though its August 2000 load factor of 78.9 percent represents a slight decrease from last August’s 79.8 percent, Spirit management attributes the change to the carrier’s ambitious plan of replacing its DC-9 aircraft with larger, more fuel-efficient 164-seat MD-80s.

Spirit’s fleet currently consists of 16 MD-80 planes and six DC-9s, operating 60 flights daily. The company intends to replace at least one of the DC-9s with an MD-80 aircraft by year-end and add six additional MD-80s to its fleet.

“Enhancing our fleet of aircraft with MD-80s will allow us to maintain our pledge of offering consumers the lowest fares to top leisure destinations across the country,” Homfeld said.

About Spirit Airlines Headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Spirit Airlines specializes in low fares and non-stop service linking major Northern and Midwestern United States cities to popular destinations in Florida, South Carolina and California.

Celebrating its 10th anniversary, Spirit Airlines serves Detroit, NY/LaGuardia, NY/Newark, and Atlantic City in the north; Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Melbourne, Orlando, Tampa, and West Palm Beach in Florida as well as Los Angeles, Calif. and Myrtle Beach, S.C. Recently, the carrier doubled its service at LaGuardia, where it now offers 11 daily roundtrip flights.

In early October, Spirit will begin serving Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, and later in October will begin serving Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in the nation’s capital. The airline flies a fleet of modern MD-80 and DC-9 aircraft and operates scheduled and charter service.