Despite ongoing merger plans with Jet Blue, Spirit Airlines is focused on maintaining financial stability. The airline has over $1 billion in debt due in the next few years and is currently evaluating options to address this challenge. However, CEO Ted Christie remains optimistic about the airline’s prospects.
Spirit has seen a rebound in demand for air travel in recent months, and the company is focused on generating cash flow and achieving profitability this year. In 2023, Spirit posted a net loss of $183 million, which was an improvement from the previous year. The airline has not made a profit since 2019 but expects to be cashflow positive from the second quarter onwards.
The merger with Jet Blue was recently blocked by a federal judge, and the two airlines are appealing this ruling. They are set to present their arguments to the Court of Appeals in June.
To address its financial challenges, Spirit plans to sell 25 aircraft and lease them back, generating $419 million. However, the airline also expects to ground an average of 25 Airbus A320neos this year due to problems with Pratt & Whitney engines. Despite these obstacles, Christie remains upbeat about Spirit’s prospects and emphasizes the importance of liquidity and flexibility to adapt to stand-alone plans or a potential merger with JetBlue.