Spirit likely to continue acquiring aircraft on leases

Washington DC
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Low-cost carrier Spirit Airlines has indicated it is likely to continue acquiring aircraft on leases, citing its strong balance sheet.

The airline will operate a fleet of 44 Airbus A320 family aircraft by the end of the year and is slated to take deliveries from a 75-A320s order from 2016 to 2021. The 75 aircraft include 45 A320neos.

Spirit has its entire fleet on operating leases right now, and the airline has leveraged on the strength of its balance sheet to obtain better terms and leases, says its chief executive Ben Baldanza at today's Deutsche Bank Aviation & Transportation Conference in New York.

Such leases are actually comparable with purchasing the aircraft directly, he adds.

"We are actively looking at the right way to use that cash, while keeping the airline stable," says Baldanza. He adds that while purchasing aircraft would be a "good way" to use equity, it must prove to be a better option than anything else.