Spirit Airlines May traffic up 11.4%

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Washington DC
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Fort Lauderdale-based Spirit Airlines has posted an 11.4% increase in traffic in May compared to a year earlier.

The carrier's capacity grew 13.7%, resulting in a 1.7 percentage point decline in its load factor to 84.3%.

Passenger traffic rose 16.4% and capacity grew 16.5% year-to-date compared to the first five months of 2011. Load factor fell 0.1 percentage points to 84.5% during the period, says Spirit.

The airline's second quarter cost per available seat mile is estimated to be up 5.5% to 6% year-on-year to between 10.23 cents and 10.28 cents, excluding unrealised mark-to-market hedge gains or losses. The increase is attributed to a decrease in stage length and higher maintenance expenses due in part to the one-time start-up expenses associated with the company's preventative seat maintenance programme.

The airline currently expects capacity to be up 17% year-on-year for the second quarter, 23.7% in the third quarter and 22.3% for 2012.