Spirit Airlines, a provider of extremely low-cost travel, has announced the sale of 29 Airbus A319ceo aircraft to Gryphon Trading Company, a subsidiary of Gryphon Aviation Leasing. This will let the business reduce its old A319 fleet, which is now 16.4 years old on average.
Reducing its A319 fleet size
On January 13, Spirit Airlines agreed to sell 29 unencumbered A319 aircraft powered with V2500 engines to Gryphon Trading Company, the airline informed on Thursday 19th January 2023.
Each of these narrowbody jets will be sold for a total price between US$152 and $201 million, according to Spirit in a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.
According to information from ch-aviation, Spirit Airlines currently runs a fleet of 31 Airbus A319-100 aircraft. It added a new A319 in 2016, and as of right now, the fleet’s average age is 16.4 years old, which is twice as old as Spirit’s second-oldest sub-fleet, the A320ceo (8.3 years old).
The recently sold aircraft are expected to be delivered starting in the first quarter of 2023 and continuing until the end of the third quarter of 2024, according to Spirit. In 2023 and 2024, respectively, the ultra-low-cost carrier plans to retire 14 and 15 A319 aircraft from its active fleet. When their leases expire in 2025, the remaining two A319 are expected to be returned to their lessor. These two aircraft, which have the registrations N535NK and N536NK, are leased from Carlyle Aviation Partners.
Spirit’s Airbus A319
Spirit’s Airbus A319 planes can carry 145 passengers in a two-class configuration. It has ten ‘Big Front’ seats in the 1st 3 rows (rows one and two are 2-2 in configuration and row three is 3-2). Rows four through 26 are arranged 3-3 for the remaining 135 seats.
Spirit now uses its Airbus A319 fleet to operate close to 900 flights every week, using up to 130,000 seats, according to Cerium data. Particularly on routes like Chicago-Atlanta and Miami-Atlanta, this fleet is visible (14 flights per week on both routes).
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Spirit Airlines is in the process of replacing its narrowbody fleet, and over the following three years, it hopes to acquire 122 new aircraft. Spirit has one of the few orders for the Airbus A319neo; the company wants to add 31 of the newer model, which would completely replace the A319ceo. What the new Spirit A319neo’s interior will look like is unknown.
The A319neo has been the least successful member of the Neo family. As of January 2023, there are just 74 aircraft in the backlog. With 31, Spirit Airlines is the model’s biggest customer, followed by China Southern Airlines (9) and Air China (5), as well as 27 unassigned orders.
The ACJ319, the new model’s corporate variant, is primarily recognized. The Airbus A319neo lost the competition to the similarly sized and significantly more successful Airbus A220-300 and therefore fell from favor (although the A319neo has more range, 6,850 kilometers versus 6,297 km of the A220-300).
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