Startup Grind Hosts Ben Baldanza, CEO of Spirit Airlines

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Ben Baldanza joined Spirit Airlines, the largest Ultra Low Cost Carrier in the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean, in January 2005 as our President and Chief Operating Officer. In May 2006, Mr. Baldanza was promoted to President and Chief Executive Officer at which time he was also appointed to our board of directors.
A lesson all startups learn (some not early enough) is that you can’t be everything to everyone, you’ll have naysayers and will spread your resources too thin if you try to appease them all. Spirit Airlines was once a startup, no longer is and Ben joined well beyond the point of Spirit being a startup. That being said, there’s still a lot we can learn from Ben as entrepreneurs with early-stage companies. Spirit has mastered the Art of Focus. They know who they are, what they can promise and at what price.
Baldanza has over twenty-five years of airline related experience. Prior to joining Spirit, he served as Senior Vice President of Marketing and Planning at US Airways, where he was responsible for route planning, scheduling, pricing and revenue management, marketing, sales, cargo, distribution, and the international division. Prior to US Airways, Baldanza served as Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer of Grupo Taca, an airline group based in Latin America and held various management positions at Continental Airlines, Northwest Airlines and American Airlines. Baldanza holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from Syracuse University and a Master of Public Affairs, specializing in transportation and economics, from Princeton University.

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