Article Written by Jamie Clarke & James Field
LONDON – Airbus announced that the Fort Lauderdale-based low-cost carrier (LCC) Spirit Airlines finalized a purchase agreement for 100 Airbus A320neo family aircraft.
This order comes just a few months after the airline signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Airbus back in October 2019 for the purchase of up to 100 Airbus A320neo family aircraft.
The order has a mix of A319neo, A320neo and A3210neo to meet the airlines future fleet requirements. The numbers of how many of each model Spirit Airlines will acquire are currently not known.
Spirit President & CEO Ted Christie commented on the deal last year outlining the benefits to this order.
“The additional aircraft will be used to support Spirit’s growth as we add new destinations and expand our network across the U.S, Latin America, and the Caribbean. We look forward to working with our valued partners at Airbus to finalize our agreement.”
Spirit Airlines is headquartered in Miramar, Florida and currently operates a fleet of 145 Airbus aircraft, broken down as; 31 Airbus A319’s, 84 Airbus A320’s (including neo’s) and 30 Airbus A321’s.
The airline serves over 70 destinations throughout the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean, to which there is no doubt that the new aircraft will aid in the growth of the airline and older aircraft replacement.
This announcement is Spirit’s latest major input since recently showcasing their new cabin interior in Detroit back in December 2019, showing that their re-designed cabins will feature ergonomically-designed seats, larger tray tables, new carpet and more for an improved aesthetic and modern design.
The deal also states additional purchasing rights for 50 more units, should Spirit need the aircraft.
Information suggests that deliveries will commence through to 2027 at least, given the huge order count from the carrier.
The backlog of aircraft for Airbus is now standing at 7,300 aircraft.
This is another significant firm order secured for Airbus, who day-by-day is adding further success onto the A320 Family.
With more developments such as the A321XLR on the way, it remains clear that Airbus has not stopped any further future plans with this family of aircraft, but will be looking to innovate it in a way that it increases the backlog for years to come.
Spirit Expands into Colombian Market
The airline also announced this week that it would add two new destinations to its network for the new year, being Bucaramanga and Barranquilla, both of which are in Colombia.
These services are due to start between April 22-23 of this year, operating on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays for Bucaramanga and Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays for Barranquilla.
These two destinations will join Cartagena (four weekly), Bogota (Daily), Medellin (Daily), Armenia (thrice-weekly) and Cali (Daily) from Fort Lauderdale.
Also commenting on this news was Ted Christie again, who emphasized the importance of Colombia to the airline.
“We are very proud of our service growth in Colombia, connecting many Colombian cities to multiple U.S Gateways over the last 10-plus years.”
“Colombia is considered home to many in Florida and it is also a destination that has gained so much interest in the past years from the leisure traveller. We are very excited to add Bucaramanga and Barranquilla to our Spirit Family and continue with our mission to offer the best value in the sky to those looking to visit family and friends and those looking for their next adventure”, he added.
New HQ in Fort Lauderdale
As mentioned by Airways’ Andre Madrid in October last year, in less than three years, Spirit will be moving its main offices from Miramar to a new facility at Dania Pointe, a top-of-its-class, almost one million square feet mixed-use development in Dania Beach, Florida that offers space for retail, restaurants, and housing.
It is a marked upgrade from Spirit’s current home of 20 years in Miramar, which was renovated back in 2016. Airways toured the plucky, no frills workplace, located in an executive park resembling a strip mall.
The new campus will be up to 500,000 square feet and cost the budget airline approximately $250 million.
The new offices are expected to bring 225 new jobs to the South Florida community along with 1,000 employees from the Miramar headquarters.
The campus is expected to be operational by mid-2022 and will keep the headquarters close in range to Spirit’s largest operating hub, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL).
The project will both offer premier operative efficiency and amalgamate Spirit’s real estate holdings. The budget carrier has had a strong presence in South Florida for the past two years and looks to solidify its position in the region’s future with the new headquarters.
This update from Spirit has placed out more positive news about its development of the carrier.
From route launches to the finalization of aircraft orders, the carrier is now in the process of consolidating that success and growing it into brand new markets to boost its success.
It will be interesting to see how Spirit performs going into 2020 and what other route launches we may see down the line.