Spirit Airlines plans for ‘several new cities’ next year
Spirit Airlines continues its growth tear with plans to add “several new cities” amidst a double-digit expansion next year.
The South Florida-based ultra-low-cost-carrier aims to expand capacity by 17-19% year-over-year in 2020, including the addition of the aforementioned new points, said Spirit chief financial officer Scott Haralson during a quarterly earnings call on Thursday.
He did not say what cities Spirit is eyeing but executives did highlight Nashville (BNA) as a successful new market.
"Not only is it a growing leisure vacation destination, Nashville is one of the fastest-growing cities in the U.S. and we are excited to add it to our portfolio," said Matt Klein, chief commercial officer of Spirit, on the call.
The airline began service to Nashville with flights to five cities, including Baltimore/Washington (BWI), Fort Lauderdale (FLL) and Las Vegas (LAS) earlier in October. It will add flights to Tampa (TPA) in November, and plans to connect the Middle Tennessee city to Austin (AUS), Cancun (CUN), Los Angeles (LAX) and Newark (EWR) in 2020.
Spirit brings low fares, but with a buffet of added fees for everything from carry-on bags to water onboard, wherever it flies. When asked in September who it saw as its main competitor, CEO Ted Christie told TPG that its competition was not another airline but anything else consumers could use their discretionary income for, like a new TV.
The airline is off to a strong start in 2020. In addition to the new Nashville routes, Spirit has already announced a bevy of new routes from Austin, Cancun and San Juan (SJU) for the new year. No new destinations have been announced yet.
Spirit will support its growth plans with deliveries of 21 new Airbus A321neo jets in 2020, its latest fleet plan shows.
The carrier aims to continue to grow by double-digits through the mid-2020s, Haralson said. This was exemplified in Spirit’s commitment for up to 150 A320neo family aircraft due from 2022-2027 on Wednesday.
“A lot of exciting things are happening for Spirit and our guests,” said Spirit CEO Ted Christie during the call.