Spirit Gains Amid Quarterly Loss

Spirit Airlines (NYSE:SAVE) reported a second-quarter loss as strong travel demand and higher fares weren’t enough to overcome a surge in costs.

Spirit reported results less than two weeks after it announced it agreed to sell itself to JetBlue Airways (NASDAQ:JBLU) for $3.8 billion, ending a months-long bidding war for Spirit between JetBlue and Frontier Airlines (NASDAQ:ULCC)

Miramar, Fla.-based Spirit posted a net loss of $52.4 million in the three months ended June 30. Revenue rose nearly 35% from pre-pandemic 2019 to almost $1.37 billion. Expenses soared more than 66% compared
with three years ago. Its fuel bill more than doubled.

Passengers were paying more to fly, however, with revenue per passenger, per flight up more than 24% from 2019 to $140.61, including fees. Spirit, like other discount carriers, offers travelers low fares and charges fees for add-ons like cabin baggage and seat selection.

In the current quarter, Spirit expects pre-tax margins between negative 1% and positive 1%, citing capacity constraints in Florida. The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration this spring said it would add more air traffic controllers to handle a surge in volume in the state.

Spirit said it expanded flying almost 10% in the second quarter compared with the same period of 2019. It plans to grow its schedule by 14% in the third quarter and 25% in the last three months of the year, compared with three years earlier.

SAVE shares progressed 21 cents to $24.86.