MIRAMAR,, FLA. TheStreet) -- On its first-ever earnings conference call Thursday, newly-public Spirit Airlines (SAVE - Get Report) sounded nothing like the half-dozen established airlines whose calls came earlier.
To begin with, Spirit is growing. Capacity grew 27.3% in the second quarter, with full-year growth pegged at 16%. The carrier has 35 Airbus aircraft and will take two more this fall, seven a year from 2012 through 2014 and 10 in 2015. That will enable growth of 15% to 20% for several years.
By contrast, the rest of the industry is infatuated by capacity control.
(DAL - Get Report), for instance, won plaudits from Wall Street after saying Wednesday that it will
Currently, a third of revenue derives from ticket sales, and about half of the ticket sale revenue pays for fuel. The goal, said CEO Ben Baldanza on the earnings call, is to directly pass fuel cost on to the consumer, and then to fund remaining costs and profit from ancillary revenue. Spirit has a lot more ideas, so far undisclosed, to raise ancillary revenue, he said. Unlike others, Spirit doesn't care about yield, or ticket revenue. "We don't manage because of yield," said Baldanza. "That is a metric for other models." Rather, he said, Spirit looks at total revenue per available seat mile "as the relevant piece