Spirit Airlines of Fort Lauderdale, Florida "a new customer for Airbus" has signed a firm order to purchase 15 Airbus A320 Family aircraft, plus up to 50 options. The firm order consists of 11 A319s and four A321s. Also, the airline will lease four A321s, in addition to the 20 A319 and A321 aircraft it has already announced it will lease from International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC). Altogether, this order has a potential for up to 65 purchased aircraft and 24 leased aircraft. All Spirit's Airbus aircraft will be powered by International Aero Engines V2500 engines. First delivery of an Airbus aircraft to Spirit will be a leased A321 in September 2004.
Spirit will operate their A319s and A321s throughout their current and growing 16-city low-fare network, ultimately becoming an all-Airbus airline by 2008, as it continues to replace its current fleet of 32 MD-80s. Spirit?s A319s will seat eight people in ?Spirit Plus?, the airline?s business-class product, and 130 in coach. The A321s will accommodate 16 people in Spirit Plus, and 182 in coach. The airline plans to double its size over the next five years.
"We founded this airline on the concept of value, and these new Airbus aircraft will allow us to deliver on the promise to our customers to provide more for less," said Jacob Schorr, CEO and President of Spirit Airlines. "In the interest of economics, technology and comfort, the choice of the A320 Family was a clear one. This is our 14 th year in business and we?re the 16 th largest airline in the U.S. ? we look forward to advancing those numbers on the wings of Airbus."
"Low-fare carriers are thriving in this challenging rebound period of our industry, and with its selection of the A320 Family, Spirit has secured its position among the leaders in the climb to restored profitability." said Noël Forgeard, Airbus Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "We are very pleased to have yet another U.S. airline attest to the value and virtues of Airbus aircraft by signing us on as part of their future."
A leading aircraft manufacturer with the most modern and comprehensive product line on the market, Airbus is a global company with design and manufacturing facilities in France, Germany, the UK, and Spain as well as subsidiaries in the U.S., China and Japan. Headquartered in Toulouse, France, Airbus is a joint EADS Company with BAE Systems.