US ultra-low-cost carrier Spirit Airlines has named Fred Cromer as its chief financial officer, tasking him with helping the company chart a profitable course forward. 

Cromer will start his new position on 8 July, working closely with interim CFO Brian McMenamy, who will remain with Spirit in a “senior finance role” to assist with the transition. 

”Cromer brings three decades of experience in the aviation industry, with expertise in financial management, strategic planning, treasury and operations,” Spirit said on 1 July. 


Source: Spirit Airlines

Spirit has tapped Fred Cromer to guide its financial decision-making amid a difficult season for discount airlines in the USA 

His background includes stints as chief financial officer of now-defunct regional carrier ExpressJet Airlines, president of Bombardier Commercial Aircraft and chief executive of Xwing.

Notably, Xwing – a California Bay Area company focused on developing autonomous aviation technology – was recently acquired by air taxi developer Joby Aviation. 

“Fred’s extensive career in aviation and his proven track record of strategic financial leadership across all aspects of the industry bring valuable insights and expertise that will help us successfully evolve our business model as we navigate the changes in the demand environment,” says Spirit CEO Ted Christie. 

Cromer’s appointment comes less less than a month after McMenamy was named as Spirit’s interim CFO, following the resignation of Scott Haralson.

Haralson left Spirit  pursue another opportunity at “a larger, publicly traded company outside of the airline industry”, according to a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. He now works as CFO of rental car company Hertz, according to his LinkedIn profile. 

Spirit lost $143 million in the first quarter of 2024 amid heightened competitive pressures that prompted the airline to shrink its operation and seek out cost savings. It is tweaking its business model following a failed tie-up with JetBlue Airways and is also struggling with the grounding of double-digit numbers of Airbus A320neo-family jets due to Pratt & Whitney engine issues. 

Last month, Spirit announced it had increased the maximum weight for checked bags, another sign of it moving away from its historical no-frills model since it axed add-on fees for changing or cancelling flights. 

Spirit also disclosed on 1 July the appointment of Dana Shapir Alviene as senior vice-president of inflight and airport experience. The ULCC also moved longtime executive Tomas Ranaldi into the role of vice-president of financial planning and analysis.