Ted Christie, CEO of Spirit Airlines, told CNBC Friday that he urges all passengers and employees to receive Covid strikes, even though the low-cost carrier has not planned to implement vaccination requirements.
“The growing case counts as to the delta variant is obviously a concern for everyone,” Christie said in “Squawk Box”. The answer to that, we believe, is to get your vaccine, make sure you get out of there and get vaccinated. ”
Christie said the company does not have the authority to send vaccines to travelers, saying it believes it will be a “federal request.” The spirit, however, is still “strongly encouraging” employees to get vaccinated and wear face masks, he said.
The CEO said Spirit has been implementing facial coverage requirements since the beginning of the pandemic, which remain unchanged since the highly contagious delta variant led to the latest wave of Covid cases in the United States. Although some pandemic-based restrictions are slowly returning, Christie said the “market is still open” with airlines able to operate without travel restrictions.
Wednesday announced a second-quarter adjusted loss of 34 cents per share. It was much tighter than what 81 percent loss analysts had expected. Revenue of $ 859 million – a decrease of about 15% compared to the second quarter of 2019 before the pandemic – was even better than expected. The balance sheet airline said it ended the second quarter of this year with $ 2.2 billion in unrestricted liquidity, cash equivalents and short-term investment securities and liquidity.
“In June 2021, we recorded our first month with adjusted net earnings since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Christie said in the press release of the company’s quarterly results. The Florida-based airline saw improved demand in its domestic and overseas markets as the second quarter progressed.
Spirit operates flights to the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean.
“Since the beginning of the pandemic, hobby traffic has driven the recovery and Spirit is a hobby-based airline, so we’re mostly focused on big hobby destinations … and that traffic has to really recovered pretty quickly. We had a very, very busy summer, “Christie told CNBC.
Spirit announced early last month plans to expand into Miami International Airport later this year, adding flights to 30 cities, including New York, Cleveland and Denver. Others include services to Cali and Medellin, Colombia, Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Spirit flies directly from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, about 25 miles north of Miami International.
Spirit, along with American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines, recently announced plans to resume hiring and add more pilots to follow what executives expect to be a robust demand next year.
While the pandemic has led airlines to stop hiring plans and encourage thousands of employees to take purchases, leave of absence and other voluntary options, Christie said the Spirit has not relieved any of its front-line staff.
“We’ve been able to keep them all intact, which has put us in a good position to take advantage of the backlash we’ve seen lately. And we’ve managed our cost structure very well, I think,” Christie said.