Spirit Airlines has become the first carrier to announce flights from the US to the new Palmerola International Airport, located about 110 km (68 mi.) away from Honduran capital Tegucigalpa.
The city will become the ULCC’s second destination in Honduras alongside San Pedro Sula (SAP), which it currently serves from Fort Lauderdale (FLL), Houston (IAH), New Orleans (MSY) and Orlando (MCO).
Starting Nov. 17, passengers will also be able to fly on Spirit to Tegucigalpa from FLL, IAH and Miami (MIA). Daily flights will be offered from FLL and IAH, while the route from the airline’s new MIA base will be 4X-weekly.
“Our new air service to the Tegucigalpa area provides convenient nonstop travel options for both Honduras tourism and our guests looking to visit family and friends,” Spirit VP of network planning John Kirby said.
Palmerola International is being constructed on the site of the former Soto Cano Air Base in Comayagua. Following completion, the airport will become Tegucigalpa’s main international gateway and the existing Toncontin Airport (TGU) will handle domestic flights only.
The new airport is currently scheduled to open in October and will have the capacity to handle about 1.7 million passengers per year.
According to figures provided by Sabre Market Intelligence, O&D traffic between the US and Honduras totaled 1.1 million two-way passengers in 2019, up by 4.6% on the previous 12 months. Miami-San Pedro Sula was the largest city pair, followed by Houston-San Pedro Sula and Fort Lauderdale-San Pedro Sula.
OAG data shows two US carriers currently serve TGU, with American Airlines flying 2X-daily from MIA and 3X-weekly from Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW), with United Airlines offering daily service from IAH.
Photo credit: Joe Pries