Spirit Airlines (NK, Fort Lauderdale International) announced it reached an agreement with Airbus to defer all aircraft on order scheduled to be delivered from the second quarter of 2025 through the end of 2026 to 2030-2031.

The ultra-low-cost carrier previously planned to take six A320-200neo and fifteen A321-200neo in 2025. Following the amendment, the airline will not take any A320neo next year. It still plans to add four A321neo from Airbus in the first quarter and then two leased aircraft, one each in the second and third quarter of 2025, for a total of six units in 2025.

Spirit Airlines also confirmed that it will retire the remaining A319-100s by mid-2025. Out of the current fifteen units of the type, thirteen will exit by the end of 2024 and the remaining two in the second quarter of 2025.

Spirit’s current plan consists of the company closing 2024 with 215 planes and both 2025 and 2026 with 219. Its previous fleet plan targeted 234 aircraft in 2025.

Additionally, Spirit Airlines adjusted the delivery periods of optioned aircraft from 2027-2029 to 2029-2031. These deferrals are expected to improve the carrier’s liquidity position by approximately USD340 million over the next two years, it said in an SEC filing. This, however, does not impact the planes on order with Airbus scheduled to be delivered between 2027 and 2029 nor direct-lease airframes planned for delivery in the period, which includes one new jet in the second and third quarter of 2025, respectively.

“Deferring these aircraft gives us the opportunity to reset the business and focus on the core airline while we adjust to changes in the competitive environment. In addition, enhancing our liquidity provides us additional financial stability as we position the company for a return to profitability,” said Ted Christie, Spirit’s president and chief executive officer.

Following the termination of Spirit’s merger agreement with JetBlue Airways (B6, New York JFK), and two consecutive years of net losses of USD598 million and USD495 million in 2022 and 2023, respectively, the carrier underwent financial restructuring, which includes “prudent steps to ensure the strength of its balance sheet and ongoing operations, including assessing options to refinance upcoming debt maturities and bonds [over USD1 billion].”

It has also negotiated with suppliers, including a monthly credit agreement with Pratt & Whitney’s subsidiary International Aero Engines for compensation ranging between USD150 million and USD200 million for each Spirit aircraft unavailable for service due to the ongoing PW1100G engine inspections, ch-aviation reported.

The ch-aviation fleets module shows that Spirit Airlines’ fleet comprises 208 jets, including fifteen A319-100s, sixty-four A320-200s, eighty-seven A320-200Ns, thirty A321-200s, and twelve A321-200NX.

Finally, due to the Pratt & Whitney GTF engine issues and the 2025 and 2026 deferrals, Spirit announced it will furlough approximately 260 pilots, effective September 1, 2024.