Often, short-haul low-cost airlines prefer just one fleet type to maximize efficiency. But Spirit might break from tradition and add a new aircraft type. If it does, we're betting it chooses the Airbus A220.
Spirit Airlines Inc. is targeting a decision by the middle of the year on its next order of single-aisle jets as the carrier prepares its expansion plans over the next five years.
The heavy discounter is talking to each of the major manufacturers, Airbus SE, Boeing Co. and Embraer SA, Chief Financial Officer Scott Haralson said Tuesday on the sidelines of the Airline Economics Growth Frontiers conference in Dublin. The order size will depend on pricing, though the carrier is trying to secure enough aircraft to tide it over at least through 2022.
Spirit has been expanding its network connecting smaller and midsize cities to popular tourist destinations. The airline already has plans to expand its fleet of Airbus A320-family planes to 177 by the end of 2021, according to its website.
Haralson said the airline was weighing the viability of adding a new aircraft type with a different cockpit design to the fleet, despite the increased operational complexity. That category includes narrow-body offerings from Boeing and Embraer as well as Airbus’s A220, which the European planemaker acquired from Bombardier Inc. last year, he said.
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Photo credit: Spirit Airlines now has an all-Airbus fleet, including the two A220s shown here. It may add a new aircraft type soon. jtocchialini / Flickr