Spirit to make Miami debut with 30 routes

The LCC is planning to shake-up the South Florida market by launching flights from Miami.

Spirit Airlines plans to launch flights out of Miami (MIA) from October, offering routes to 18 domestic and 12 international destinations. The expansion will give the LCC a presence at all three of South Florida’s major airports for the first time. 

If the move goes to plan, Spirit hopes to begin flying 10 routes from MIA by early October, with the remaining 20 following by mid-November. Once all 30 are operational, about 190 weekly departures will be on offer.

The Miramar, Florida-based carrier said the move to Miami was in response to soaring demand for air travel to South Florida—and would not result in a decrease of service from the carrier’s Fort Lauderdale (FLL) home, located some 27 mi. (43 km) away from MIA. 

“We are the largest airline at FLL, and we intend to stay that way,” a Spirit spokesperson said. “In fact, we’ll reach 100 departures per day at FLL for the first time in July. The demand is there to support growth throughout South Florida. Our flying out of MIA is in support of continued expansion in the region.” 

As COVID-19 restrictions have curtailed flights to many international vacation destinations from the US, the South Florida market is experiencing a surge in leisure demand. JetBlue Airways and Southwest Airlines are among the carriers that have responded, with each launching routes from MIA for the first time.

Frontier Airlines is also making a big play for the market, having announced 16 routes from MIA over the last 12 months alone. New destinations include Cancun (CUN) in Mexico, Montego Bay (MBJ) in Jamaica, and San Salvador (SAL) in El Salvador. 

Spirit plans to finalize its schedule from MIA over the coming weeks but said it has been obliged to release the list of destinations it intends to serve before obtaining gate and counter space at the airport. 

Many of the routes it plans to launch will be daily, connecting the city with the likes of Atlanta (ATL), Detroit (DTW) and Newark (EWR) in the US, alongside international flights to Bogota (BOG), Guatemala City (GUA), and Port-au-Prince (PAP).

Analysis of data for w/c June 7, 2021, provided by OAG Schedules Analyser, shows that Spirit will face significant competition on all but one of the 30 new routes planned from MIA.

American Airlines will provide the sternest test, competing on 28 of the routes, while Frontier Airlines currently serves 19. Spirit also serves all 30 destinations from FLL, as well as Atlantic City (ACY) from Palm Beach (PBI).

Photo credit: Spirit Airlines