July 23, 2020 / 5:40 PM / 14 days ago

Spirit Airlines to defer Airbus deliveries as COVID-19 saps demand

July 23 (Reuters) - Spirit Airlines has reached an agreement with Europe’s Airbus to defer aircraft deliveries during 2020 and 2021, as the coronavirus pandemic weighs on travel demand, Chief Financial Officer Scott Haralson said on Thursday.

The U.S. low-cost carrier will now take three additional aircraft in 2020, bringing deliveries this year to 12 instead of an expected 16, Haralson told analysts.

He said Spirit now has 16 aircraft scheduled for delivery next year, instead of the 25 originally expected.

The aircraft will be secured through a combination of debt financing, sales leaseback transactions and direct lease arrangements, he said.

The carrier made a $50 million principal payment related to the aircraft deferrals. (Reporting By Allison Lampert in Montreal; Editing by Bernadette Baum)

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