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The A321 is the largest member of the Airbus A320 Family and Spirit currently operates 30 A321ceo aircraft in its fleet of nearly 200 aircraft. The addition of the A321neo to its fleet will drive even more fuel efficiency due to new engine option (NEO) advanced engines and fuel-saving Sharklet™ wingtip devices, which are 20 percent more fuel-efficient than A321ceo aircraft. Additionally, the new aircraft offer additional range and a quieter onboard experience for passengers.
"Adding this new variant of the A320 Family aircraft to our fleet is a feat that has been years in the making," said Ted Christie, Spirit Airlines President and CEO. "We know our Guests enjoy the brand-new plane experience combined with our latest cabin upgrades, and on the business side of the equation, this transition will increase our average gauge, which will drive efficiencies that benefit unit costs and reduce fuel burn."
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Spirit is currently in a fleet renewal process as it retires its A319ceo aircraft while adding larger, more modern aircraft to increase capacity and fuel efficiency. The company is planning for all its A319ceo aircraft to transition out the fleet by the end of 2025.
The new features and benefits of the A321neo include expanded seating capacity with optimized use of cabin space, increased exit limits and a new cabin door configuration; increased capacity at constrained slot-controlled airports; wide aisles that allow quicker on-and off-boarding; an additional 500 nautical miles in range over previous generation A321ceo type; Pratt & Whitney GTF engines that reduce fuel burn and carbon emissions by 16 percent on this family of aircraft; reduce nitrogen oxide emissions by 50 percent compared to regulatory standard; reduce noise footprint by 75 percent; enhanced wider seats with additional usable legroom from curved seatback design.
In recognition for their efforts in transitioning their fleet to include this new variant, Aviation Week Network's Air Transport World (ATW) named Spirit Airlines Value Airline of the Year as part of their 2023 Airline Industry Achievement Awards. Additionally, WalletHub named Spirit Most Affordable Airline and No. 2 overall in their 2023 Best Airline Awards. Spirit was also recognized with FAA's "Aviation Maintenance Technician Diamond Award of Excellence" for fifth consecutive year.
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