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Spirit Airlines Welcomes Its 10th Airbus A321neo

by Staff

Summary

  • Spirit Airlines is expanding its Airbus fleet, receiving its 10th A321neo earlier this month.
  • The delivery signifies carrier’s commitment to reducing emissions and enhancing flights with quieter engines.
  • The aircraft is the third new A321neo delivered to Spirit this year.



Ultra-low-cost-carrier (ULCC) Spirit Airlines is continuing to expand its all-Airbus fleet with the addition of a new aircraft this month. On Friday, the airline unveiled its 10th A321neo, donning its shiny banana-yellow paint scheme.

The new plane has already been in rotation for nearly a month. Its delivery marks progress in Airbus’ commitment to fulfilling Spirit’s firm order for more than 80 examples of the aircraft type.


The journey to Spirit

Spirit introduced the aircraft, registered as N716NK, on X, noting that it features enhanced seats onboard.


According to ch-aviation, the A321neo is brand-new as of this year, performing its first flight on January 3rd. Initially, the aircraft was reportedly intended to be an A319neo, but Spirit converted the order to the larger variant last July. It was developed in Hamburg, Germany, and transferred to Spirit on January 30th. Days later, the aircraft began its journey to the US.

On February 2nd, N716NK departed from Hamburg Finkenwerder Airport at 09:52 CET and flew to Keflavík International Airport (KEF), according to data from FlightAware. After about four hours, it arrived at KEF at 12:56 GMT and remained on the ground for two hours. At 14:54, the A321neo was airborne again, this time bound for Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW).

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As a much longer journey than its previous leg, the plane flew for five hours and 56 minutes at approximately 34,000 feet. Covering around 3,000 miles, it landed at DTW at 15:50 EST. N716NK sat at the airport for the next six days as Spirit likely made preparations on the ground for the aircraft to officially enter service.


First passenger flights

On February 8th, it was ferried to Fort Lauderdale–Hollywood International Airport (FLL), Spirit’s main base, where it would be deployed on its first revenue flight. The plane departed from DTW at 06:26 and traveled south for two hours and 30 minutes, reaching 38,000 feet. It landed at 08:56, and then remained at FLL for the following two days.

N716NK operated as NK517 on February 11th from FLL to Austin–Bergstrom International Airport (AUS). The plane departed at 16:02, which was reportedly more than three hours past its scheduled departure time of 12:30. It flew for nearly three hours and 40 minutes, arriving at AUS at 18:39. The aircraft then returned to FLL as NK512, successfully completing its first two passenger flights.

Three new A321neos so far in 2024

Since then, N716NK has performed nearly 50 legs, primarily visiting Boston, Newark, Los Angeles, and Santiago, Dominican Republic. While the aircraft is Spirit’s 10th A321neo, it is the plane to be delivered to the airline this year, according to ch-aviation.


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Its predecessor, N715NK, performed its first flight on January 12th and was delivered to Spirit on January 26th. However, unlike N716NK, the aircraft was manufactured at Airbus’ site in Mobile, Alabama, and it was not initially ordered as an A319neo. N713NK flew for the first time on January 11th and was also delivered on February 2nd. Interestingly, it has similarities to both N715NK and N716NK – being developed in Mobile and initially ordered as an A319neo.

Spirit Airlines aircraft at Austin Bergstrom Intenrational Airport AUS

Photo: lorenzatx | Shutterstock

According to ch-aviation, Spirit has 83 A321neos on order. Currently, the ULCC has a total of 180 active aircraft: 14 A319s, 60 A320s, 67 A320neos, 29 A321s and 10 A321neos.

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