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Spirit Airlines' (SAVE) Load Factor Forecast Upbeat for Q2

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With air-travel demand improving (particularly for leisure) owing to increased rate of vaccination, management at Spirit Airlines (SAVE - Free Report) provided a bullish forecast for the June-quarter load factor (% of seats filled by passengers).

Driven by this upbeat scenario in both its international and domestic markets for leisure air-travel, this Miramar, FL-based ultra low-cost carrier expects load factor for the second-quarter 2021 to be 84%, in line with the second-quarter 2019 actuals. Moreover, the June-quarter expectation is much higher than 72.1% reported in the March quarter.

Backed by an uptick in the revenue scenario, the carrier, currently carrying a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold), has witnessed an improvement in operating yields over the past three months. As a result, Spirit Airlines now expects adjusted EBITDA margin for the June quarter to be positive, albeit modestly (earlier expectation was from -5% to 0%).

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The scenario with respect to capacity (measured in available seat miles) is also brighter. The metric is now anticipated to decline 5.2% in second-quarter 2021 from the second-quarter 2019 reported levels. Earlier, the company had expected second-quarter 2021 capacity to decline 5.5% from the second-quarter 2019 finals. Capacity for the full year is anticipated to inch up 2% from the figure reported in 2019.

Fuel price per gallon is now projected to be $1.96 per gallon for second-quarter 2021 compared with $1.95 expected on Apr 21, 2021. Moreover, adjusted operating expenses for the second quarter of 2021 are now expected at the better end of the past $885-$895 million guided range.

Notably, Spirit Airlines is not the only carrier to have given an improved guidance for the June quarter, led by a recovery in the air-travel demand scenario. Carriers like JetBlue Airways (JBLU - Free Report) , Hawaiian Holdings (HA - Free Report) and Southwest Airlines (LUV - Free Report) too had issued bullish views for the said quarter.

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