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Spirit Airlines slashes outlook after staff shortages, COVID threat

Aug 16 (Reuters) - Spirit Airlines on Monday cut its revenue and margin forecast for the third quarter, as a resurgence in COVID-19 cases drags booking trends and staff shortages force the airline to operate fewer flights.

The company forecast a hit of about $80 million to $100 million to revenue, driving down its shares about 2% in extended trading, after adverse weather and airport staffing shortages forced it to cancel 2,826 flights between July 30 and Aug. 9. (bit.ly/3ANKInP)

After laying off or furloughing staff during the height of the pandemic last year, several U.S. airlines are now reporting workforce shortages, flight cancellations and delays despite receiving billions in government bailouts.

Spirit also flagged higher costs, driven by re-accommodation expenses for guests whose travel plans were impacted.

The company now expects an adjusted loss before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization margin of 8% to 1%, compared with its previous forecast for a profit margin of 10% to 15%.

Reporting by Shreyasee Raj in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika Syamnath

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