Spirit To Make Utah Debut

The ULCC will become the first new airline to enter the Salt Lake market since the first-phase completion of a $4.5 billion airport redevelopment project.

Credit: Spirit Airlines

Spirit Airlines is further expanding its US network with another destination—and state—joining its route map this spring.

The ULCC plans to add three routes to Salt Lake City International (SLC) in Utah, becoming the first airline to announce operations into the newly rebuilt airport since the first phase of a $4.5 billion overhaul was completed in 2020.

Nonstop daily flights to Los Angeles (LAX) and Orlando (MCO) will begin on May 26, alongside a twice-daily route to Las Vegas (LAS). The carrier hopes to attract outbound leisure traffic as well as inbound travelers seeking outdoor-focused adventure activities in Utah.

Construction of the new Salt Lake City International—dubbed The New SLC—began in 2014 and will continue in phases through 2024. The first phase, which included the 908,754-ft.2 terminal building, opened in September 2020.

Once additional work has been completed, the airport will be able to handle 34 million passengers per year.

“Spirit has the distinction of being the first new domestic carrier to come aboard since opening The New SLC,” said Bill Wyatt, executive director at the Salt Lake City Department of Airports. “The Spirit model will be a popular addition to SLC’s portfolio of airlines.”

Data provided by OAG Schedules Analyser shows that Spirit will face direct competition on all of the new routes being launched from Salt Lake City—Delta Air Lines and Southwest Airlines both serve all three.

In addition, Frontier Airlines serves SLC-LAS, JetBlue Airways serves SLC-MCO, and Alaska Airlines, JetBlue and United Airlines offer SLC-LAX flights.

Spirit’s latest expansion comes shortly after the airline launched service in Tegucigalpa (XPL), Honduras, and Manchester (MHT), New Hampshire.

During the week commencing Jan. 24, 2022, OAG figures show the ULCC is flying 225 routes in the US with 673,000 weekly domestic seats available. During the same week in 2020—prior to the onset of the pandemic—the carrier offered 206 US routes and 677,000 domestic seats.