More routes, passengers result in more revenue for Spirit Airlines

A Spirit Airlines jet takes off from McCarran International Airport on Friday, Aug. 26, 2011.

Mirimar, Fla.-based Spirit Airlines, the fastest growing domestic air carrier at McCarran International Airport last year, reported its second-quarter earnings Wednesday.

Company: Spirit Airlines Inc. (NASDAQ: SAVE)

Revenue: $407.3 million (up 17.6 percent from the second quarter of 2012). Higher revenue was attributed to greater volume of routes and passengers. Spirit added 14 new routes during the quarter. While base fares dropped at the airline, ancillary fees increased by 3.8 percent.

Earnings: $42.1 million (up 21.6 percent from the second quarter of 2012). The company extended leases at a lower cost on 14 of its Airbus A319 jets.

Earnings per share: 58 cents (up 20.8 percent from second quarter of 2012).

Quote: “Our strategy to allow customers to choose what they value for their travel experience results in our customers paying a total price that is almost always less than what they would pay on other airlines. Spirit’s low cost, low fare and high-choice strategy is appealing to a growing base of smart value-conscious consumers, and we look forward to bringing low fares to more places as we grow.” — Spirit CEO Ben Baldanza

What it means: For Las Vegas, Spirit’s expansion has slowed since its major West Coast push in 2011. In the second quarter, one of the airline’s new routes involved Las Vegas, daily nonstop flights to and from Philadelphia that began April 25.

Spirit is continuing to grow. The airline took delivery of a new A320 jet in the quarter, another this month and is scheduled to receive three more by the end of the year. In addition, Spirit amended its agreement with Airbus to add 20 new A321 jets, which typically hold 40 more passengers than the A320s, taking delivery between 2015 and 2017. The airline also converted 10 of its A320 orders to A321s with deliveries scheduled in 2017 and 2018.