Spirit expansion continues with Milwaukee routes

Milwaukee becomes the second new destination added to the ULCC’s network in as many days.

Florida-based Spirit Airlines will begin serving Milwaukee Mitchell International (MKE) from June, offering three routes to Wisconsin's largest city.

The network addition comes just a day after the ULCC unveiled plans to fly to another new destination—Louisville (SDF) in Kentucky—from May.

Spirit’s inaugural MKE flights will start on June 24, connecting the airport with Las Vegas (LAS), Los Angeles (LAX) and Orlando (MCO). All three routes will be daily using Airbus A319 aircraft.

The airline will compete directly with Frontier Airlines and Southwest Airlines on both MKE-LAS and MKE-MCO. Southwest also served MKE-LAX until April 2020, but the route has remained suspended since then.

By the time Spirit begins the routes in June, OAG Schedules Analyser data shows Frontier intends to offer MKE-LAS 2X-weekly and MKE-MCO 3X-weekly, while Southwest will fly MKE-LAS 2X-daily and MKE-MCO 16X-weekly.

“We've had our eye on Milwaukee for a long time, and we're excited to bring our unique value proposition to the Brew City,” Spirit VP of network planning John Kirby said.

The ULCC added that the MKE-LAS route, which is currently unserved nonstop, forms part of a strategy to “seize” opportunities where it can capture untapped leisure demand.

In a video interview, Kirby said that Spirit originally planned to begin MKE service last November, but the plans were delayed because of the pandemic. However, he stressed that if the inaugural routes are a success the more would be added.

Earlier this week, Spirit announced plans to serve SDF from May 27, serving Fort Lauderdale (FLL), LAS, LAX and MCO on a daily basis.

Photo credit: Visit Milwaukee