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 October for the 26th consecutive month, the company announced today. Spirit credits much of its continuing surge in passenger traffic to the launch of service to new markets, including Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Washington, D.C.
“Both repeat and new passengers alike are taking advantage of our latest market additions to and from the Midwest and Northeast, and our low-fare flights continue to prove extremely popular,” said Ned Homfeld, Spirit’s chairman and founder. “The strong results of recent bookings, including these new flights, are seen here in our October figures.”
In October 2000, Spirit’s RPMs were up 21.5 percent from October 1999, with figures of 206,756,000 and 170,229,000, respectively. The year-to-date RPMs through 2000 - 2,247,665,000 - are a 24.9 percent increase from annual figures as of last October.
Through the first ten months of 2000, ASMs for the year - 3,029,587,000 - are up 28 percent from 1999’s figure through October of 2,366,258,000.
Spirit’s passenger counts to date for 2000 - 2,317,373 - bettered its 1999 figure through October of 1,960,043 by 357,330 passengers - more than 18 percent, and Spirit Airlines carried 17.3 percent more passengers this October than last.
Though its October 2000 load factor of 68 percent represents a slight decrease from last October’s 70.8 percent, Spirit’s executive management attributes the change to the carrier’s opening of new markets and continuing strategy to replace its DC-9 aircraft with larger, more fuel-efficient 164-seat MD-80 jets.
Spirit’s fleet currently consists of 19 MD-80 planes and six DC-9s, operating 80 flights daily. The company intends to add three additional MD-80s to its fleet by year-end.