Yesterday, January 5, Spirit Airlines announced that their former CEO Ben Baldanza would be replaced by native airline executive and consultant Robert Fortran.
Previously, Fortran spent 6 years as president and CEO of AirTran Airways and then president and CEO of AirTrain Holdings until 2011. Since then, he acted as a consultant to but AirTrain and Southwest and has been on the board of directors for Spirit until 2014.
Spirit Airlines prides itself to be the primary low-cost airline in the industry, with round-trip international prices that can go for nearly half of what Delta and American charge.
How can they do this, you might ask? They charge for nearly everything else that many other major airlines give as amenities: from both checked and carry-on baggage to on-flight snacks and drinks to printing your board pass.
This business model was the proponent of Baldanza, and it is what propelled them from losing to making money during his term as CEO. But in a statement he made, he sounded positive about the succession of his position.
In a statement, Baldanza said that “following the tremendous growth and success of Spirit over the last 10 years, the board and I have concluded that this is the right time to implement an orderly succession plan. Bob is the right choice to lead the company through its next phase of growth.” -USA Today
According to USA Today, the shareholders seemed pleased about the change as well. “Spirit’s shares were up 5.92% to $41.50 in end of day trading.”