Skip to content

Spirit Airlines adds 6 routes to its 2 newest destinations in latest network update

May 27, 2021
4 min read
Spirit Airlines adds 6 routes to its 2 newest destinations in latest network update
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

It's a celebratory day at Spirit Airlines.

Spirit Airlines is adding two pins to its route map on Thursday —Louisville (SDF) and St. Louis (STL) — with inaugural flights taking off from both cities in the morning.

Want more airline-specific news? Sign up for TPG’s free new biweekly Aviation newsletter!

But that's not all. In addition to its first tranche of routes from those cities, Spirit is already adding more service from SDF and STL later this year. Specifically, the carrier will add the following routes:

OriginDestinationFrequencyLaunch date
Louisville (SDF)Fort Myers (RSW)4x weeklyNov. 17
Louisville (SDF)Tampa (TPA)3x weeklyNov. 18
St. Louis (STL)Fort Myers (RSW)DailyNov. 17
St. Louis (STL)Phoenix (PHX)DailyNov. 17
St. Louis (STL)Tampa (TPA)DailyNov. 17
St. Louis (STL)Cancun (CUN)DailyDec. 22

This joins the previously announced service from both SDF and STL to five of the airline's top destinations, including flights to Fort Lauderdale (FLL), Las Vegas (LAS), Los Angeles (LAX), Orlando (MCO) and Pensacola (PNS), the first of which begins on Thursday.

In explaining the rapid growth in an interview with TPG, John Kirby, vice president of network planning, said that the new routes being announced on Thursday were in the works for a while, but the market is already outperforming expectations. "The response in the advance bookings we're seeing in both markets makes us wonder if we maybe we should even add a little bit more," he said.

Spirit's Big Front Seat offers an incredible value for the added space (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

The most significant expansion is in St. Louis, where the carrier will nearly double its destination count, including its first international service from the city — to Cancun.

"One of the things we noticed that St. Louis had been impacted and lost some service. So we viewed that really as an opportunistic play to build some capacity, but we're really playing to our strength," he said in explaining Spirit's reason to nearly double its St. Louis market from day one.

More Spirit growth: Spirit Airlines boosts Kansas City with 4 new routes

Sign up for our daily newsletter

In addition to its core markets like Fort Lauderdale and Orlando, Spirit wanted to boost St. Louis and Louisville with leisure-oriented destinations just in time for the winter holiday season.

"Come fall, people are looking to go to Fort Myers and Tampa, coupled with Cancun. That's where we were expanding pre-pandemic. We plan to be back to that same level of capacity and gateways post-pandemic, as well as taking advantage of the seasonality of a market like Phoenix," Kirby explained.

Much of the growth is focused on the traffic that originates in St. Louis and Louisville, as opposed to tourists flying Spirit to those destinations. Kirby admitted that there's some VFR (visiting friends and relatives) traffic, but the primary focus is to take people to vacation destinations, Spirit's core network strategy.

Neither St. Louis nor Louisville has a significant ultra-low-cost carrier presence, so Spirit's hoping its expansion there can allow it to offer low base fares and stimulate demand for its flights, according to Kirby.

There is one newly announced route — Louisville to Tampa — that'll draw some interesting competition. On Friday, Breeze Airways, the country's newest startup carrier, will launch flights between the aforementioned cities as part of its first batch of 39 routes.

Flying Spirit: 8 thoughts from my first Spirit Airlines flight in over 3 years

Kirby isn't necessarily worried about Breeze right now. He admitted that Spirit has some overlapping routes, but "I think leisure volume is very strong," he said. "Playing to leisure is to any carrier's strength, whether it's a new entrant or an existing carrier. We'll see, it's still a very competitive industry and, we wish them well."

Spirit's move to beef up service at its newest cities comes as analysts predict a very busy summer for recently vaccinated and pandemic-weary leisure travelers taking to the road.

Kirby agrees that the summer is going to be busy. "I would say that's probably the biggest learning [throughout the pandemic] is the rebound... It's going to be a good summer from a demand, volume standpoint. Obviously, yields still have to catch up to pre-pandemic levels. But overall, I think we're going to see pre-pandemic load factors for all carriers."

Featured image by (Photo 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.

Top offers from our partners

How we chose these cards

Our points-obsessed staff uses a plethora of credit cards on a daily basis. If anyone on our team wouldn’t recommend it to a friend or a family member, we wouldn’t recommend it on The Points Guy either. Our opinions are our own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by our advertising partners.
See all best card offers

TPG featured card

Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

2 - 10X points
10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day

Intro offer

75,000 bonus miles
Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

Annual Fee

$395

Recommended Credit

740-850
Excellent
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023
Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

    75,000 bonus miles
  • Annual Fee

    $395
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023