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Spirit and International Growth??

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Jan 30, 2004
Spirit Targets 5.5 Cent CASM, Aggressive International Growth By Steven Lott 05/11/2005 08:55:08 AM
Spirit Airlines is on track to transition its fleet to all-Airbus aircraft by early 2007 and maybe earlier if it can retire 27 less efficient MD-80s ahead of schedule, as it is eager to grow its international Caribbean and Latin American network.
New President Ben Baldanza has a long list of cities he would like to add to the Spirit route map and yesterday predicted that 50% of the carrier's revenue will come from international operations by 2007, which hints at some aggressive growth considering it now serves only five cities outside the U.S. He told the International Airline CEO Conference in Miami that there is a "lot of interest in Caribbean islands,"as well as Central America. There have also been talks with some countries further south, such as Peru.
Spirit has no orders or interest in buying long-haul widebody aircraft, "so we are not looking at deep" South America. The carrier, however, will look anywhere within the range of its new Airbus A319s and A321s. It currently has four A321s, 27 MD-80s and two A319s and will add nine A319s and two more A321s by yearend, with another 23 aircraft on order, plus 50 options.
Baldanza, who joined Spirit in January after a stint as a top US Airways executive, called 2005 a "transition year" for Spirit, which is undergoing massive fleet changes. The privately held carrier does not release financial information, but Baldanza said the airline's unit cost, excluding fuel, is in the low six-cent range. As the airline phases out the MD-80s and boost efficiencies, he predicted that unit costs will drop as low as 5.5 cents per available seat mile by yearend 2006.
Baldanza praised the flexibility of his 198-seat A321s and 138-seat A319s, both configured for two classes. Comparing Spirit with JetBlue, Spirit's trip costs are about 6% higher than JetBlue's, "but we have 48 more seats to sell," Baldanza said. On a seat-mile basis, "they can't touch us," he said. Baldanza decided to keep a first class on the new planes because he believes there is a demand on longer flights and it can boost revenues.
Spirit is not ignoring the problems contained in growing its network. The business plan assumes several things -- fuel prices could rise to $60 per barrel and US Airways stays in operation. "The market is brutal," he said. "Our future plan is not dependent on major industry changes or improvements." A more immediate challenge is congestion and physical limitations at Fort Lauderdale.
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Bud, that story's almost a year old.
I know...i know...i know...it was the only thing, however, that came close to saying what the heck spirit wants to do....and where the casm are...etc
OK, now you're stalking me and that's a little scarey. I've heard about guys like you. Please know, I don't look anything like my avatar and wouldn't be your type.
crashpad said:
Hey, they can't even fly safely domestically. Why even go there?
Would you care to back that trash talk up with some facts?

I'll help you out. To my memory (admittedly weak) we have: one high altitude stall, one unexplained (probably failure to apply engine anti ice) dual engine flame out at altitude, one set of TR buckets dragged on landing (management pilot), one runway excursion off of an icy runway somewhere in NY state, and recently one bounced landing that resulted in a tail strike on an A321. Hardly a compeling argument for a lack of safety over 17 years.

We've had our close calls, but so far, nobodys dead. Laugh at us if you like, but don't make stupid remarks about safety.


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