CEO Ted Christie affirmed Spirit Airlines' resiliency in the face of rumors swirling around the airline's failed merger with JetBlue, calling claims of bankruptcy a "misguided narrative." Christie stressed the company's strategic focus on margin restoration and liquidity during an earnings call that followed the release of Fourth Quarter 2023 results, which showed a net loss of $184 million on $1.3 billion in revenue.
"We are focused on facts," Christie said, dispelling rumors of insolvency and highlighting the significance of cash. Spirit's financial situation has been strengthened by recent actions, such as the sale and leaseback of 25 aircraft and changes to the Revolving Credit Facility, which resulted in $1.3 billion in total cash at year's end.
Chief Financial Officer Scott Haralson projected a trajectory towards cash flow positivity by the second quarter of 2024, expressing confidence in the company's liquidity. Christie, meanwhile, called the court's decision to halt the merger with JetBlue "ridiculous," pointing out the possible advantages for customers as well as the competitive environment in the airline sector.
Additionally, Spirit's operations have been hindered by its problems with Pratt & Whitney (P&W) GTF engines, as evidenced by the growing number of grounded Airbus Neo aircraft. Even though P&W and Spirit are still negotiating about compensation, Spirit is still positive about its financial future and believes that there will be a large amount of liquidity infusion in the upcoming years.