Amid Recovery, Spirit Airlines Posts $288M 2nd Quarter Loss

Florida-based Spirit Airlines says its recovery continued throughout the second quarter of 2021, posting some of the best financial results across the United States airline industry. Against revenues of US$859.3 million, Spirit Airlines has posted a $287.9 million net loss for the April-June period.

Spirit Airlines posted a US$288 million 2nd quarter loss. Photo: Spirit Airlines

‘Due to our strategic execution and improving demand backdrop, our second quarter 2021 financial results were among the best in the industry,” said Ted Christie, Spirit’s President and CEO, on Wednesday. “We remain very well-positioned to stimulate markets and capture the significant market opportunities in the domestic U.S. and near-field international marketplace.”

Despite the quarterly loss, the metric are improving at Spirit Airlines

In the same quarter last year, Spirit Airlines recorded a net loss of $144.4 million. In 2019, the airlines posted a $114.5 million net profit across the April-June quarter. Spirit Airlines recorded its first month with adjusted net earnings in June since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Factoring in unrestricted cash, cash equivalents, short-term investment securities, and a revolving credit facility, Spirit Airlines had $2.2 billion on hand on June 30.

Spirit’s load factor for the second quarter of 2021 was 84.4 %. This was down 0.6% compared to the second quarter of 2019. Capacity for the second quarter of 2021 was down 5.1% compared to the second quarter of 2019.

Spirit says numerous weather systems over the second quarter impacted operations and on-time performance. Spirit Airlines had an on-time performance of 78.3% in the April-June period and a flight completion factor of 99.3%.

The airline’s $859.3 million operating revenues for the second quarter of 2021 were 15.2% down compared to the second quarter of 2019. While load factors compared favorably with the 2019 period, operating yields were down 10.0% across the April-June period compared to the second quarter in 2019.

Spirit Airlines is holding onto liquidity of $2.2 billion. Photo: Spirit Airlines

Five new planes for Spirit Airlines in the 2nd quarter

However, Spirit Airlines says yields steadily improved over the second quarter of 2021. By June, operating yields were roughly on par with June 2019 levels. Capacity grew 28% in the second quarter of 2021 compared to the first quarter, but total revenues improved 86.3% over that period.

“We continue to be emboldened by the value of the ultra-low-cost model, our valuable network, and our strong operational performance,” said Scott Haralson, Spirit’s Chief Financial Officer.

In the three months to June 30, Spirit Airlines took delivery of five new A320neo aircraft. Spirit Airlines financed three planes through direct operating leases and two under sale lease back transactions. At the end of the quarter, Spirit’s fleet stood at 164 planes.

Spirit’s fleet grew to 164 planes in the 2nd quarter of 2021. Photo: Spirit Airlines

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Spirit’s network continues to grow

Spirit Airlines continued to ramp up its network over the second quarter. The airline added new routes through LaGuardia Airport to San Juan, Nashville, and Los Angeles. New international services began from Los Angeles with flights added to Los Cabos and Puerto Vallarta.

Spirit Airlines added dour new destinations from Kansas City, doubling the airline’s direct flights from the midwest city. Louisville, KY, Milwaukee, WI, Pensacola, FL, and St. Louis, MO, all saw their first Spirit flights.

But it was Spirit’s arrival in Miami that captured the headlines. From zero flights to 30 domestic and international destinations out of MIA in just three months, Spirit’s new Miami footprint will supplement flights from the airline’s Fort Lauderdale hub.

While acknowledging the present uncertainties in the airline industry, Spirit Airlines expects air travel demand will continue to recover over the remainder of 2021. All going well, the airline aims to return to profitability later this year.