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Spirit Airlines drops 37 routes, hitting Florida the hardest

Nov. 10, 2022
6 min read
Spirit Airlines drops 37 routes, hitting Florida the hardest
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Spirit Airlines is making a notable adjustment to its network with the removal of 37 routes from its future schedules.

The Miramar, Florida-based carrier dropped 37 routes from its network during its regular weekend schedule update, as confirmed by Cirium timetables and a carrier spokesperson. Airline Weekly was the first to publish the news.

The routes that Spirit is cutting are far-reaching, including services from Los Angeles to Milwaukee and from Philadelphia to Aguadilla, Puerto Rico.

Map of Spirit's 37 route cuts. CIRIUM

While the full table listing the cuts is below, it's worth noting that the hardest-hit airports are primarily located in Florida. They include Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers and Tampa, which are losing six, seven and eight routes, respectively.

Additionally, Spirit's new outstation in Miami is losing three routes, with service to Atlantic City, Hartford and Orlando getting axed. Spirit entered Miami with a blockbuster 31 routes back in October 2021, though not every flight is seemingly performing up to the airline's original projections.

While it's noteworthy that Spirit is cutting so many routes in a single schedule update, these adjustments aren't necessarily permanent. The airline expects to reenter most, if not all, of these routes in the coming months, as confirmed by a carrier spokesperson. Right now, Spirit has only loaded schedules through May 2, 2023, so it's possible that many of these flights will return during the next big extension.

Spirit didn't share a statement as to the motive for the cuts, but airlines overall have been dealing with a mix of slowing demand, supply chain issues and operational hiccups.

Given the larger macroeconomic environment, Spirit could be seeing some softness in bookings, with some customers perhaps reconsidering booking travel amid rising inflation and other economic head winds.

It's also possible that the supply chain issues that have plagued the industry throughout the pandemic are affecting Spirit's ability to operate some of these routes. From delayed aircraft deliveries to low stock of spare parts, airlines largely haven't been able to operate at 100% capacity in recent months.

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While Spirit suffered a major operational meltdown back in August 2021, those days are (hopefully) in the rearview mirror. The airline's on-time performance improved considerably in recent months, especially over the peak summer period when its operational statistics ranked among the best in the industry.

ZACH GRIFF/THE POINTS GUY

That said, Spirit, like all the major U.S. airlines, has suffered from many air traffic control delays, primarily in the Southeast, where Spirit has historically been quite strong. These delays put a strain on the operation, and it could be that some of these cuts are designed to reduce the stress on the overall network, especially in Florida.

In fact, the focus on operational reliability is coming from the top brass of Spirit leadership. John Kirby, Spirit's vice president of network planning, recently told TPG that "we've really tried to stress operational reliability. Obviously, we tend to get dinged more than anybody when we have an operational hiccup, even though everybody has them and has had them."

Though the storyline is centered around cuts, the airline also continues to add new routes to its network. Spirit reentered Pensacola with two intra-Florida routes on Wednesday and plans to add San Antonio to its route map on Nov. 17.

When all is said and done, the latest cuts shave off roughly 5% of Spirit's planned capacity for the first quarter of 2023, Cirium data shows.

Full list of Spirit's 37 route cuts

OriginDestination
Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI)Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY)
Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI)Myrtle Beach International Airport (MYR)
 Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL)Bradley International Airport (BDL)
 Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL)Arnold Palmer Regional Airport (LBE)
 Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL)Manchester-Boston Regional Airport (MHT)
 Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL)Tocumen International Airport Panama (PTY)
 Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL)Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport (SDF)
 Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL)St. Louis Lambert International Airport (STL)
George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH)Denver International Airport (DEN)
George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH)La Aurora International Airport (GUA)
Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport (MKE)
Orlando International Airport (MCO)Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP)
Orlando International Airport (MCO)El Salvador International Airport (SAL)
Miami International Airport (MIA)Atlantic City International Airport (ACY)
Miami International Airport (MIA)Bradley International Airport (BDL)
Miami International Airport (MIA)Orlando International Airport (MCO)
Philadelphia International Airport (PHL)Rafael Hernández Marín International Airport (BQN)
Philadelphia International Airport (PHL)Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY)
Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX)Kansas City International Airport (MCI)
Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX)Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport (MKE)
Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX)St. Louis Lambert International Airport (STL)
Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW)Bradley International Airport (BDL)
Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW)Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI)
Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW)Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLE)
Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW)John Glenn Columbus International Airport (CMH)
Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW)Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP)
Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW)Philadelphia International Airport (PHL)
Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW)St. Louis Lambert International Airport (STL)
Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport (SJU)Atlantic City International Airport (ACY)
Tampa International Airport (TPA)Bradley International Airport (BDL)
Tampa International Airport (TPA)Boston Logan International Airport (BOS)
Tampa International Airport (TPA)John Glenn Columbus International Airport (CMH)
Tampa International Airport (TPA)Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR)
Tampa International Airport (TPA)Arnold Palmer Regional Airport (LBE)
Tampa International Airport (TPA)Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport (MKE)
Tampa International Airport (TPA)Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP)
Tampa International Airport (TPA)Philadelphia International Airport (PHL)
Featured image by ZACH GRIFF/THE POINTS GUY
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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