Airbus to sell 100 jets to US carrier Spirit Airlines

Key Points
  • The Florida based budget carrier Spirit Airlines is looking to renew its fleet with more Airbus planes.
  • At list prices, the deal would be worth around $12 billion to the European plane-maker.
  • It is the first major Airbus sale to any U.S. carrier since Washington announced tariffs on the European firm.
A Spirit Airlines airplane takes off from Newark Liberty Airport.
Gary Hershorn | Getty Images

U.S. budget carrier Spirit Airlines has agreed on a provisional deal to buy 100 Airbus single-aisle jet planes.

Spirit Airlines said late Wednesday that it had signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the European plane-maker that includes a mix of Airbus A319neo, A320neo, and A321neo models.

At 2018 list prices, the deal would be worth around $12 billion in sales to Airbus, but the airline has almost certainly negotiated a steep discount.

The jets are planned for delivery through to the end of 2027. A separate option to purchase up to 50 additional aircraft was also agreed upon.

Based in South Florida, Spirit is considered an ultra-low-cost carrier that serves the Americas. It currently operates an all-Airbus fleet.

"This new order represents another milestone for Spirit," said President and CEO Ted Christie in a press release.

"The additional aircraft will be used to support Spirit's growth as we add new destinations and expand our network across the U.S, Latin America and the Caribbean," he added.

The deal marks a notable win for Airbus given that Washington is to impose tariffs on some Airbus planes sold into the United States. It is unknown if Spirit managed to negotiate any tariff-related discount, but it may be irrelevant as Airbus does build A320 planes in the state of Alabama.

Spirit's stock has fallen around 35% this year, primarily due to guidance in July suggesting earnings per share in 2019 would be roughly flat.

Shares of the firm jumped nearly 5% after the bell Wednesday following the Airbus announcement and the airline's third-quarter beat on earnings per share and revenue.

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