Spirit Airlines moves operations center inland to Nashville
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Spirit Airlines is doubling down in Nashville with plans to move its operations center to the city from Florida next year.
The low-cost carrier will build a new Operational Control Center outside of Nashville by 2021, Spirit said Thursday. The city is a newer one for Spirit, which began serving just last year. The investment will boost “resiliency and reduce hurricane and tropical storm risk” by moving its critical operations functions out of South Florida.
Spirit will base more than 240 operations staff in the new facility, which will replace its existing operations center near Fort Lauderdale.
Operations centers are the nerve center of airlines’ day-to-day functions. All flights are managed and monitored from these facilities, ensuring that a carrier stays in the air seven days a week and 365 days a year.
Spirit’s decision to build its new operations facility in Nashville comes as it builds a new headquarters in Fort Lauderdale (FLL), its largest base. While most airlines locate their operations centers at or near their headquarters, the move to middle Tennessee put the facility nearly 400 miles from the nearest coastline.
“We look forward to building on our plans for future expansion and protecting our growing 24/7 operation by starting this new chapter in Nashville,” said Spirit CEO Ted Christie in a statement.
The airline began service to Nashville (BNA) with five daily flights to as many cities in October, according to Cirium schedule data. Spirit plans to more than double that by June with up to 11 flights a day to 10 cities.
For comparison, Southwest Airlines — the largest carrier in Nashville — will operate more than 130 daily departures from the airport in June, the data shows.
The new operations center comes as Spirit continues to make traveler-focused investments. These include everything from better on-time performance to new seats, a refreshed cabin and — hopefully this year — inflight Wi-Fi.
Featured image courtesy of Spirit Airlines.
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