WINNIPEG – NewLeaf Travel Company announced that Ben Baldanza, former CEO of Spirit Airlines, has joined the company as board chair. Baldanza is known for building Spirit from a tiny airline into the United States’ largest ultra-low cost carrier.
“Ben Baldanza is an industry pioneer with many years of experience guiding ultra-low cost carriers,” said Jim Young, President and CEO of NewLeaf Travel Company. “He built Spirit into one of the world’s most profitable airlines and we are thrilled he will help steer our experienced and knowledgeable management team.”
“I have long felt Canadians are paying too much for their air travel,” said Baldanza. “Like citizens in other G7 countries, they deserve a low-cost option. I’m looking forward to helping bring ultra-low fares to north of the border.”
Baldanza served as CEO and president of Spirit Airlines from 2005 until January 2016. He was a senior vice-president at U.S. Airways from 1999 until 2005. Baldanza previously held positions at TACA Airlines, Continental Airlines, Northwest Airlines, and American Airlines. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Syracuse University and a Master of Public Affairs, specializing in Transportation Economics, from Princeton University.