Spirit Airlines will add 3 routes to brand-new Honduras airport

Jul 28, 2021

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Spirit Airlines is bringing its yellow Airbuses to another city in Honduras.

On Wednesday, the Miramar, Florida-based carrier unveiled a noteworthy expansion in the Central American country with brand-new service to Tegucigalpa. Operations in the Honduras capital will commence on Nov. 17 with three routes to the U.S., including flights to Fort Lauderdale (FLL), Miami (MIA) and Houston (IAH).

Though Miami flights will be operated four times weekly, the other two destinations will be served daily.

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Along with the new route-map pin, Spirit’s also poised to inaugurate the city’s new Palmerola International Airport (XPL). Wednesday’s announcement makes Spirit the first carrier to announce flights to this new airport near Tegucigalpa.

The new commercial airport will replace the currently active Toncontin International Airport (TGU) for all international flights to or from the Tegucigalpa area.

For years, there’s been talk in Honduras about relocating the international airport in Tegucigalpa. Not only is the new airport poised to accelerate growth for the region, but it’ll also be welcome news to pilots worldwide.

The existing Toncontin airport is known for having one of the most challenging arrival approaches in the world, especially during inclement weather. It was even ranked as the second most extreme airport in the world by the History Channel.

Interestingly, Spirit’s choice to serve both Miami and Fort Lauderdale from XPL will pit the carrier against American Airlines, which already operates twice-daily flights to the old Tegucigalpa airport from its fortress hub in Miami.

More: Spirit to enter Miami with 30 routes in major competitive shake-up

Of course, Spirit could’ve just chosen to exclusively fly to XPL from its Fort Lauderdale operating base — where it can offer one-stop service to 35 cities in the U.S. — but the airline chose Miami as well, reinforcing that it’s serious about competing in South Florida against American Airlines. In June, the airline announced that it’ll enter Miami with a whopping 30 routes, making it the second-largest carrier once its second tranche of routes launches on Nov. 17.

As for Houston, Spirit will go head-to-head against United, which already operates up to two daily flights to the old Tegucigalpa airport. It’s only a matter of time until we hear from both American and United (and other carriers) about their switchover date to the new Palmerola airport.

Spirit first began service to Honduras in 2007 with flights to San Pedro Sula (SAP) from Fort Lauderdale, and later expanded its reach to include routes to Orlando (MCO) and Houston as well. Just this month, the carrier also added New Orleans to its list of destinations from SAP.

Featured photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy

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