Low-fare specialist Spirit Airlines, the largest privately-held airline in the United States, announced today it again posted increases in revenue passenger miles (RPMs) and available seat miles (ASMs) in September, marking the 25th consecutive month for such growth. Spirit continues to also experience strong increases compared with its passenger counts of a year ago.
“These numbers represent significant consumer confidence in Spirit Airlines,” said Chairman Ned Homfeld. “We’ve just launched four roundtrips between Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport and three Florida cities, and we’re looking forward to offering travelers at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport our low-fare, friendly service starting October 26, 2000.”
“We fully expect our traffic to continue climbing,” Homfeld added.
In September 2000, Spirit’s RPMs were up 16.1 percent from September 1999, with figures of 165,175,000 and 142,250,000, respectively. The year-to-date RPMs through September 2000 - 2,040,909 - represent a 25.2 percent increase from last September.
ASMs for September 2000 - 248,115,000 - were up 10.7 percent from September 1999’s figure of 224,066,000. The year-to-date ASM increase is 28.2 percent. Spirit’s passenger count for September 2000 - 170,323 - bettered its September 1999 figure of 150,948 by 12.8 percent, and comparing the first nine months of 2000 with last year’s first nine months, Spirit is carrying in excess of 18 percent more customers.
Spirit’s load factor for September 2000 was 66.6 percent, marking an increase of 3.1 percentage points from its September 1999 load factor of 63.5 percent. “It’s extremely good news to see that once again our traffic is growing faster than our capacity,” Homfeld said, noting the carrier is moving forward with its strategic plan of replacing 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 75 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. Comparing the third quarter of 2000 with the same time period of 1999, Spirit:
* Carried 55,712 more passengers (up 9.1 percent)
* Saw an increase in ASM’s of 91,070 (up 12 percent)
* Had an increase in RPM’s of 76,553 (up 13.5 percent)
* Experienced a 1.4 percentage point increase in load factor
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 Chicago, 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 10 daily roundtrip flights.
Later this month Spirit 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.