US ultra-low-cost carrier Spirit Airlines has now taken delivery of one new Airbus A320neo aircraft on long-term lease. The aircraft was acquired from Aviation Capital Group LLC (“ACG”) and it marks ACG’s first aircraft delivery from Airbus’ facility in Mobile, Alabama.
Powered by the ultra-efficient Pratt & Whitney GTF engines, this is the first of four aircraft scheduled to deliver to the airline from ACG’s order book with Airbus.
“We are thrilled to be delivering our first new Airbus A320neo aircraft to Spirit Airlines, which also marks ACG’s first aircraft delivery from Mobile, Alabama,” said Alan Mangels, Vice President of Marketing for ACG.
“We are also proud to partner with Spirit Airlines in working towards a cleaner and more sustainable future by investing in fuel-efficient, new technology aircraft that produce lower emissions, use less fuel and create less environmental noise.”
The delivery of the new A320neo aircraft comes as part of Spirit Airlines progressive fleet upgrade plan.
The budget carrier will take delivery of some 14 new aircraft this year with a further 15 to be inducted in 2024, to replace the older A319 fleet.
The continued move towards a merger
The airlines move towards a merger with low-cost carrier JetBlue continues, following this month’s news that the US Department of Justice had moved to lawsuit to block the proposed agreement.
Shortly after the lawsuit was announced, Spirit Airlines and partner JetBlue responded to the filing of the complaint by the U.S. Department of Justice.
The essence of the Justice Department’s legal action to block the consolidation of the two airlines was its finding that the proposed merger violated the US Clayton act by eliminating the largest, most aggressive ultra- low-cost competitor.
JetBlue and Spirit announced their intention to continue to advance their plan to create a compelling national challenger to the Big Four airlines, which control about 80% of the market.
This strong market hold comes “after years of industry consolidation that the DOJ itself approved” say the two airlines.
The essence of the US DOJ argument is challenged by the two airlines, who contend that “by coming together, we will expand JetBlue’s unique offering – where customers do not have to choose between a low fare and a great experience – to boost competition nationally.”
The two carriers point to the fact that the DOJ itself said that “In the face of consolidation, JetBlue has provided an important and steadfast source of competition.”
Furthermore, they state that “JetBlue’s reputation for lowering fares is so well known in the airline industry that it has earned a name: the ‘JetBlue Effect.’” [Case 1:21-cv-11558; https://www.justice.gov/opa/press-release/file/1434621/download]
About Spirit Airlines
Spirit Airlines is an American ultra-low-cost carrier that was founded in 1983 and is headquartered in Miramar, Florida.
The airline operates scheduled flights throughout the United States, as well as to the Caribbean, Mexico, Central and South America. As an ultra-low-cost carrier, Spirit Airlines offers a no-frills experience to its passengers.
This means that while the airline’s fares may be lower than other airlines, passengers are often charged additional fees for things like seat selection, baggage, and in-flight meals or drinks.
However, the airline does offer a variety of seating options, ranging from standard seats to “Big Front Seats” which are larger and offer more legroom.
Spirit Airlines currently operates a fleet of Airbus aircraft, including the A319, A320, and A321 models.