US ULCC Spirit Airlines will soon have a total of nine crew bases as it is set to open two more, one in Atlanta (ATL) and another in Miami (MIA).
Spirit said the bases are expected to begin operations this summer. Each will have 100 pilots and 200 flight attendants initially, according to the carrier.
The planned establishment of an MIA base comes after Spirit started flights from the airport in October 2021. The embrace of MIA by the ULCC follows years of Spirit staying out of the busy airport, which is located less than 40 miles from the carrier’s Fort Lauderdale (FLL) home base.
Spirit now operates 30 routes to nine destinations from MIA, making it the second largest operator at MIA after American Airlines. The airline is the third largest carrier at ATL, holding about a 4% market share, following Delta Air Lines and Southwest Airlines. But the ULCC drops to fourth at ATL if Delta regional subsidiary Endeavor Air is separately counted. Spirit operates 19 routes from Delta’s home hub.
"We're always evaluating our network to find opportunities to improve our operational performance as our flight options continue to expand,” Spirit executive VP and COO John Bendoraitis said. “We're adding jobs and increasing staffing at stations with a high concentration of flight activity [at ATL and MIA]. We will have better access to large metropolitan centers for talent recruitment, and Spirit team members gain attractive new home base options and additional commuting opportunities."
Spirit announced earlier this week that it would add Monterey (MTY), Mexico to its network in June. The carrier also this week launched Airbus A319 flights from MCO to Ponce (PSE), Puerto Rico. Ponce becomes a new point in Spirit’s network.