Spirit Airlines to buy regional jets to fill the gap in barely served routes
Houston - The American ultra-low-cost carrier Spirit Airlines plans to buy hundreds of regional jets to strengthen its network. The candidate list includes Bombardier CSeries and Embraer E2.
Spirit Airlines currently operates 118 Airbus aircraft from the 145-seater A319 to the 228-seater A321. Also, five A320neo aircraft are part of the Airbus fleet, which will grow to 161 aircraft by the end of 2021. Like JetBlue Airways, the airline is now considering smaller jets as well.
In our view, there are many promising routes that are insufficiently served,Sales Vice President Matt Klein told Bloomberg at the CAPA Americas Aviation Summit in Houston, Texas.
This applies in particular to lines from smaller cities to popular tourist destinations in North America.
Klein did not say when Spirit will expand its fleet with regional jets. The Bombardier models CS100 and CS300 can accommodate from 135 to 160 passengers. The South American rivals Embraer E190-E2 and E195-E2 range from 114 to 146 seats.
In 2017, Airbus took over of the Bombardier CSeries program and expects a deal approval within the next few weeks. Boeing has been trying for some time to cooperate with Embraer. The corporations last negotiated for a joint venture to compete with Airbus and Bombardier.
The United States, with a sales potential of around 2,000 units over the next 20 years, is considered the most important market for CSeries and E2 jets.