US ULCCs Frontier and Spirit adopt different approaches to maximising their fleets

The US ULCCs Spirit and Frontier are adopting different fleet strategies during the next few years. Frontier’s parent company Indigo recently finalised a massive Airbus order that includes 134 narrowbody jets for Frontier, which will result in significant growth for the ULCC once deliveries begin in 2021.

Spirit appears to be taking a more measured approach to its fleet during the next few years. The future shape of its fleet depends, in part, on the outcome of pilot negotiations and how work rules are structured in the new collective bargaining agreement. The airline’s management recently decided that placing small batches of aircraft orders is perhaps more viable than a blockbuster deal.

Despite two different approaches to fleet management, ambitious growth by both Spirit and Frontier continues unabated; however, Spirit’s annual capacity growth, while still robust, will fall to the mid-teens beginning in 2019.

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