Spirit Airlines (NASDAQ: SAVE) today reported its preliminary traffic results for August 2017.
Traffic (revenue passenger miles) in August 2017 increased 20.6 percent versus August 2016 on a capacity (available seat miles) increase of 21.9 percent. Load factor for August 2017 was 86.2 percent, a decrease of 0.9 percentage points compared to August 2016.
Our August operational performance was negatively impacted by Hurricane Harvey. Approximately 10 percent of our network touches Houston. Our team members quickly restored our operations but many affected areas suffered major damage and we anticipate a lingering impact from a reduction in travel demand to and from the affected areas.
Our September operations have, and will continue to be, impacted by Hurricane Irma. Through September 13, 2017, we have canceled 1,255 flights related to the hurricane. Our team members are working diligently to restore our operations. We anticipate we will be back to regular operations in all our Florida airports within the next few days. Unfortunately, due to the devastation in many of our Caribbean locations, service restoration there will take longer. Florida and the Caribbean account for approximately 45% of our network. It is too soon to assess the financial impact of Hurricane Irma on our third and fourth quarter results but we do expect it to be significant.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with all those affected by the devastation caused by Hurricane Irma, including many Spirit Team members based in Florida and throughout the Caribbean Islands. In addition, our hearts and prayers continue to be with those impacted by Hurricane Harvey," said Robert Fornaro, Spirit's President and Chief Executive Officer.