Spirit Airlines isn't considering chapter 11, 'encouraged' by post-JetBlue plan, CEO says

A Spirit Airlines aircraft undergoes operations in preparation for departure at the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport in Austin, Texas, on Feb. 12, 2024.

Brandon Bell | Getty Images

Spirit Airlines CEO Ted Christie said Friday that the budget airline isn’t considering a chapter 11 bankruptcy filing and is “encouraged” by its plan after a failed takeover by JetBlue Airways.

Spirit has been struggling with shifting travel demand, increased U.S. competition and a Pratt & Whitney engine recall that grounded dozens of its Airbus planes.

Earlier this year, a federal judge blocked JetBlue’s planned takeover of Spirit on antitrust grounds, adding to concerns on Wall Street about the money-losing airline’s ability to sustain itself without a buyer.

“We are proudly executing to our plan as we’ve exited the merger agreement with JetBlue and are encouraged by the initial results of our standalone plan,” Christie said at an annual shareholder meeting on Friday. “We are not evaluating a Chapter 11 at this time.”

Spirit’s shares have lost more than 77% this year. The company has changed its business model, ditching most flight-change fees, extending the life of flight credits and bundling perks that it previously sold a la carte alongside a cheap fare.

This story is developing. Please check back for updates.

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