Spirit Q1 operating profit grows to $60m

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Florida-based Spirit Airlines has posted a 20.7% growth in operating profit to almost $60 million for the first quarter, up from $49.7 million a year ago.

Operating revenues rose 18.2% to $438 million and expenses grew 17.9% to $378 million, says the airline.

Spirit's first quarter net income grew 23.4% to $37.7 million.

"During the first quarter, our team did a great job serving our customers while overcoming the challenges caused by numerous severe winter storms and managing to the new crew duty and rest rules. Our solid operational and financial performance in the first quarter is a great start to the year and provides a firm foundation as we grow our business and bring our low fares to more people in more places," says Ben Baldanza, Spirit's CEO.

The carrier cancelled 256 flights in the first quarter due to severe winter weather, compared to 59 in the first quarter of 2013.

Spirit's operating revenue per available seat mile declined 2.4% to 11.57 cents, while adjusted cost per available seat mile excluding fuel rose 0.3% to 6.06 cents.

The airline took delivery of two Airbus A320s during the first quarter, ending the period with 56 aircraft in its fleet.